Lacombe city council has amended a bylaw to allow for urban beekeeping.
The city said its Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw has been in effect for two years, and during that time, bylaw enforcement received several inquiries regarding urban beekeeping so research was conducted into the process of allowing beekeepers.
“Bees are an important and vital part of Lacombe’s ecosystem,” Mayor Grant Creasey said.
“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. Lacombe’s proposed bylaw states a prospective beekeeper must register with the province to attain a property ID number and attend a beekeeping training program. There are also stipulations about creating disease and swarm control plans.
Lacombe 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 Piche, director of corporate services.
“This amendment allows residents to start or maintain apiaries in our community while also ensuring the proper protocols are being followed.”
There will be a one-time registration fee of $50 to ensure applicants have met the province’s regulations and are compliant with the city’s bylaw. The city will also contact the apiculturists yearly to verify if they are still actively keeping bees.