Beekeeping Bylaw 2373, 2017

Keeping Bees in Fort St. John
Bylaw Summary

The Bylaw to Regulate the Keeping of Bees (No. 2373, 2017) permits urban beekeeping in the City of Fort St. John.

The following are the necessary steps and regulations that must be followed in order to keep bees in Fort St. John.

STEP 1:  Read and comply with the City of Fort St. John bylaw

Before you begin beekeeping, make sure your property is adequately suited to beekeeping. The bylaw outlines locations, safety measure, number of hives, and responsibilities of the beekeeper.

STEP 2: Register your beehive with the Province of B.C.

All beekeeping activity must be registered with the Province of B.C. (http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/animals-and-crops/animal-production/bees).

The registered owner of the property is considered to be the beekeeper. A tenant or other occupier of a property may be considered the beekeeper if the registered property owner advises bylaw enforcement in writing that they have given permission to the tenant to keep bees.

Number of Hives

  • For properties less than 1,000 square metres (0.1 hectares): two colonies and two nucleus colonies
  • For properties more than 1,000 square metres (0.1 hectares): four colonies and four nucleus colonies

Location

  • Hives must be located in the rear yard of the property
  • Hives must be at least three metres from any neighbouring property line
  • Contain the beehive with a solid 1.8 metre-high fence, or place the beehive at least 2.4 metres off the ground
  • Ensure beehive entrances are away from neighbouring properties (unless conditions such as wind and sun make this unhealthy for the bees)

Beekeeper Responsibilities

  • Ensure beekeeping does not pose a safety risk to neighbours or nearby highways
  • Minimize risk of damage to nearby buildings and properties
  • Provide bees with access to water
  • Re-queen the colony if the colony engages in swarming or aggressive behaviour

​The information contained in this summary is provided for convenience only.