Associating good news with bees is not something that happens often, but it has this week in Edmonton. A pilot project to allow urban beekeeping has been approved, with bylaw changes to further open up the practice likely to follow.
Plenty of Canadian cities already allow backyard bees and Edmonton’s loosening of restrictions is a welcome sign. The benefit is not only that beekeepers will be able to produce honey, but that more bees will help with pollination and general biodiversity.
Concerns about allergies have been raised, but bees aren’t all that aggressive, especially compared with wasps—which surely only some terrible supervillain would want to raise. It will also mean that beekeepers can get help and advice about raising their bees without worrying that someone will report them. They will be better able to do it correctly and safely, which is good for everyone.
That’s the practical argument. The other is that it should just be legal to do things that are reasonably safe on your own property. Look at the other cities doing this, and beekeeping falls under that category.
So let’s hope this pilot project goes well, and that city council can get some bylaw changes in place soon. And then maybe you could be the proud owner of a beehive or two, or, at the very least, a jar of local honey.