Maple Ridge could get on board with hobby beekeeping

MR following several cities, but school district, however, opposed over health and safety concerns

  • May. 9, 2012 1:00 p.m.

staff reporter

Unless someone gets a real bee in their bonnet, Maple Ridge council will have given third reading to the beekeeping bylaw at its Tuesday meeting.

The new bylaw, accompanied by a zoning bylaw change, allows people who live on lots that are 6,000 square feet in area to keep up to two hives.

The Hobby Beekeeping Bylaw was expected to get third reading, while a zoning bylaw change allowing the bee, was to get second reading, then be sent on to public hearing.

Mayor Ernie Daykin expects council to give the go ahead and pass third reading so it can get to final reading in a few weeks.

Staff and council had been concerned that beehives would attract bears, but Daykin said the conservation service has said garbage, rather than bee hives, is the main attractant.

A staff report also notes that large-scale beekeeping takes place in farm areas where bears are around and there are few encounters involving bears.

Because of bees’ role in pollinating fruit and berry crops, the Ministry of Agriculture provides technical and scientific help to cities that allow residential beekeeping. For instance, the ministry suggests that entrances to the honey bee hives should be facing the centre of the property so that bees gain altitude before they get close to property lines.

The report also points out that Maple Ridge should allow bee hives on the top of commercial or public or even residential buildings and that some high schools set up bee hives as study projects.

However, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district doesn’t support allowing beekeeping, citing health and safety concerns of staff and students.

“Really, it came down to a matter of student safety, because the bee stings can be fatal,” to some students, said spokesperson Irena Pochop.

Burnaby, the city and district of North Vancouver, Vancouver, West Vancouver and New Westminster all allow beekeeping based on a bylaw passed in 2000 in New Westminster.

The hives will have to be built 2.5 metres above the ground or be surrounded by a hedge or fence that’s at least two metres high to prevent wildlife access.

Council had considered the bylaw in 2010 then referred it to the school district for comment last September.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spray paint was discovered at Hot Rocks. (Special to The News)
Popular Maple Ridge summer destination vandalized

Rocks discovered with spray paint along South Alouette

Police shut down 240 Street after a single vehicle accident. (The News files)
Maple Ridge man dies following crash

Police believe he went into medical distress before accident

An early morning fire forced the evacuation of a Maple Ridge apartment building on Saturday, April 3 (Deborah Hampton/Special to The News)
City of Maple Ridge thanks volunteers for response to Easter weekend blaze

Emergency Support Services volunteers stepped up to help displaced residents

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

Most Read