EDITOR’S NOTE — Following is a letter to City Hall in connection with tonight’s public hearing on backyard beekeeping.
The purpose of this letter is to introduce the Kamloops Beekeepers’ Club to the Mayor and Council. Our group is a Division of the B.C. Honey Producers’ Association (est. 1920) and has been an active beekeeping club in Kamloops since the late 1940’s.
As a Club we support the changes being put before Council. We acknowledge and applaud the extensive preparation in the development of the document. As the document states, other jurisdictions in B.C. have adopted similar policies on urban beekeeping.
Our local club works diligently to instruct new and existing beekeepers in the ‘best practices of beekeeping’ through information sharing, club meetings, field days and seminars. Topics such as defensive sting prevention, swarm control/population management and water supply for honey bees are routinely a focus of an educational session.
As a Club, we commit to working with City staff on the new information brochure mentioned in the proposed changes.
Club members have, on an ongoing basis, acted as resource persons when the Bylaws Department has received a ‘swarm call’ from a Kamloops resident. Members will attend and, if possible, safely rescue and remove the swarm at no cost. The Bylaws Department maintains a list of beekeeper volunteers and this is a service Club members will continue to provide to the City.
With the proposed setback provisions regarding placement of beehives and property lines, there should be no issues with bees and the neighbouring property owners. Bees leave their beehive and within 10-12 feet are up and above house height on their search for nectar and pollen from flowers and tree blossoms.
The density of honey bees allowed in this proposal is also very manageable, safe and reasonable and is in line with other jurisdictions.
In conclusion, the Kamloops Beekeepers’ Club is willing to consult with City staff if any areas of concern develop. We do not anticipate any issues based on the lack of problems in other jurisdictions in B.C. with similar bylaws but, as a Club, we are here to assist.
Kamloops Division of the B.C. Honey Producers’ Association