(Black Press Media files)

City of Lacombe amends bylaw to allow urban beepkeeping

“Bees are an important and vital part of Lacombe’s ecosystem,” said Mayor Grant Creasey

Urban beekeeping will be allowed in the community of Lacombe. The city amended the Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw to allow for urban beekeeping within city limits.

The Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw has been in effect for two years. During that time, Bylaw Enforcement received several inquiries regarding urban beekeeping and subsequently researched the proper process of allowing apiculturists (beekeepers) in the city.

“Bees are an important and vital part of Lacombe’s ecosystem,” said Mayor Grant Creasey in a press release.

He goes on to say this bylaw amendment allows our residents to safely and responsibly maintain bee populations in our community while also providing the opportunity to produce honey for their personal use.

Urban apiaries are governed under provincial regulations through the Bee Act. The city’s proposed bylaw states a prospective beekeeper must register with the Province of Alberta to attain a property ID number and attend a beekeeping training program. There are also stipulations about creating disease and swarm control plans.

The city will require a licence for urban apiaries, and the application process will require approval by 50 per cent of the neighbouring properties and an inspection by bylaw enforcement staff.

“The city is pleased this amendment to the Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw was approved,” said Diane, director of corporate services piche.

Piche says this amendment allows residents to start or maintain apiaries in our community while also ensuring the proper protocols are being followed.

Urban apiaries will utilize a one-time registration fee of $50 to ensure the applicants have met the province’s regulations and are compliant with the city’s bylaw.

In addition, the city will contact the apiculturists yearly to verify if they are still actively keeping bees.