|Urban Beekeeping Bylaw Brings Buzz to Chilliwack||April 16, 2019|
Chilliwack, BC: There is a buzz coming to Chilliwack. On April 16, 2019, Chilliwack City Council introduced the Urban Beekeeping Bylaw to allow residents to keep bees in urban areas and to create the opportunity for more public education in urban apiculture.
Historically, the City only permitted the keeping of bees on properties zoned for agricultural and rural uses. Due to growing community interest and the importance of bees to urban biodiversity, Council directed staff to explore options for beekeeping in urban areas of the City in 2016.
“We are pleased to support urban beekeeping in Chilliwack,” said Mayor Popove. “Having a framework to regulate beekeeping in residential and institutional areas will benefit our environment and help our community learn more about bees.”
To create the bylaw, staff undertook a review of the regulations established by the Province and other BC municipalities, and consulted with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chilliwack Beekeepers Community to ensure the bylaw is in keeping with best practices for beekeeping and meets the needs of local beekeepers. A draft bylaw was then presented to the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee for review, who recommended it be forwarded to Council with support.
“Bees are an important part of the agricultural landscape, and it’s exciting to see urban apiculture have the opportunity to grow in our city,” said Councillor Chris Kloot, Chair of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee. “Supporting responsible urban beekeeping will lead to a healthier environment for all of us.”
Bees are typically not aggressive, as most insect stings come from wasps. Bees play an important role in the production of many crops, as well as the production of fruits, vegetables and seeds, which provide a food source for birds and other insects and improve the health and biodiversity of an urban environment.
The Urban Beekeeping Bylaw will regulate for siting, property size and maximum number of hives. Beekeepers must ensure that hives are well maintained and healthy. The bylaw is consistent with provincial regulations and requires the registration of beekeepers and apiary locations. For more information about urban beekeeping in Chilliwack, visit chilliwack.com/urbanbeekeeping.
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