Honeybee hives. (AP Photo/Scott Smith)

Backyard beekeeping becomes possible in Chilliwack urban areas

Local beekeepers praise new bylaw passed by council

The new beekeeping bylaw is ready to start creating a buzz in Chilliwack.

Hives of honeybees can now be set up in backyards of single-family homes, duplexes, as well as community gardens, and institutions where it’s part of an educational program.

City officials started working on drafting changes last year after receiving a request from the community to allow honeybees as a permitted use in the backyards of Chilliwack residents.

Laura Delisle — beekeeper, environmental educator, and spokesperson for the Chilliwack Beekeepers — was at the public hearing on April 2.

She offered thanks to council, and listed some of the benefits of having such a supportive bylaw on the books.

“Thank you for taking the time to put this bylaw proposal into place,” Delisle told council. “We have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.”

Not only do they support the existing community of volunteer beekeepers, and answer a long-standing need in the community, but the zoning rules will help set “a standard of good health and practice” for urban hives, she added.

The new bylaw is “vital” to local beekeepers, their hives and for the health the honeybees, since the “health of my bees affects the health of your bees,” Delisle said.

The new rules will also help create “respectful community living between beekeepers and non—beekeepers,” Delisle noted.

READ MORE: Community of beekeepers there to help

Coun. Jeff Shields asked during the meeting about the nature of honeybees compared to wasps in terms of how aggressive they are, and was told they were relatively gentle and more interested in flowers than people.

Most people who get stung by honeybees have stepped on them accidentally, she said.

Chilliwack beekeeper Marty Van Den Bosch had praise for the new urban beekeeping bylaw, and for the beekeeping community, and beekeeping instructors like Delisle.

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity of having bees legitimately in our community,” Van Den Bosch told council. He coordinates an online gardening club of more than 6,000 members, and the subject of honeybees comes up often.

As an active member of Chilliwack Beekeepers’ community as well, which Delisle co-ordinates, Van Den Bosch said he appreciates the depth of knowledge available locally.

The beekeepers’ group started with about 30 people and has grown to almost 300 members online.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see this new bylaw passed,” Delisle commented after the meeting.

To prepare for the new bylaw to be on the books, staff researched best practices and experiences of other municipalities, as well checking with Ministry of Agriculture. City staff confirmed the introduction of bees did not lead to any complaints from surrounding communities.

The proposal was reviewed by the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee, and they in turn recommended council support it.

Final adoption is set for May 7.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack native Maleek Irons scores first Canadian Football League touchdown

The former W.J. Mouat Hawks star recorded a major against Toronto on Saturday

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Heroism medal for Chilliwack woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Rifle thefts from Lindell Beach break-and-enter leads to arrest downtown Chilliwack

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Extended hours of operation at city hall for Chilliwack taxpayers

The Finance Department at city hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Grey-haired bank robber hit with dye pack in Langley heist

Police are looking for an older man who may be stained with dye

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

New Lower Mainland bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Most Read