Did you know that the City of Vancouver encourages urban beekeeping? The buzz on the street says beekeeping creates a sustainable urban ecology, facilitating pollination for plants in gardens, which leads to better veggie/fruit production. In fact, there have been two bee hives on the roof of City Hall since 2010.

If you’re already an avid gardener and are looking for your next hobby, this one is pretty neat. You get a swarm of tiny new friends who do essential work for the planet with a  liquid gold byproduct. But keeping bees requires some know how and infrastructure. So here’s what you need to embark:

1. Take a class!

There are a number of organizations offering beekeeping courses in the Vancouver area: Honeyland Canada in Pitt Meadows,  Urban Bee Supplies in Tsawwassen,  Brian Campbell’s Blessed Bee Apiary and Bee School in Vancouver, Honeybee Centre in Surrey and their colony operation Main Street Honey Shoppe in Vancouver, and  Homesteader’s Emporium, also in Vancouver, at 649 East Hastings.

Check out the Basic Beekeeping class at the Honeybee Centre in Surrey. This course will give you the knowledge to begin keeping bees and is suitable for anyone interested beginning beekeeping, whether it’s 2 hives in your own back yard, or a 50 hive semi commercial beekeeping operation. The course is classroom based, and covers all the biology and management activities you can expect to encounter in a basic beekeeping operation. Graduates of the course can attend the Winter Management & Field Day course for free. This one day course in the summer will give a hands on review of what was learned in the classroom,

2. Review the City’s beekeeping guidelines

Before you decide to keep bees, read and understand the City’s guidelines. These guidelines help keep beekeeping safe for residential areas, and explain your responsibilities as a beekeeper:

3. Set up bee hives and obtain bees

The Vancouver are businesses offering beekeeping courses also have the supplies you need to get started. They will also have the intel to assist you with whatever scale you’re going for. See resources listed in #1.

4. Register your bees

Once you set up your beehives, you must register them with the Province of BC:

Have any beekeeping tips or resources? Help out by commenting below.

Last modified: November 14, 2017

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