Town is open for ‘bees’-ness

Controversial bylaw for beekeeping passes

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Bees are now allowed in High Prairie.

Under strict circumstances, however.

High Prairie town council passed its Beekeeping Bylaw at its July 14 meeting, ending months of debate that began Jan. 28 when Crystal Sturgeon asked council to consider allowing the honey-makers in town.

Council proceeded cautiously on the matter, asking for public input and having the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency draft a bylaw.

Council delayed the passing of the bylaw at its June 23 meeting and agreed to send it back to the bylaw review committee for further study.

Councillor Judy Stenhouse did not favour the 300-foot limit on any property where bees are potentially going to be kept. The bylaw orders interested beekeepers to notify all residents of bees within 300 feet before approval. Stenhouse favoured a distance of only two blocks.

At the July 14 meeting, Mayor Brian Panasiuk noted the bylaw came back with no changes in the distance.

Councillor Michael Long replied the bylaw was a pilot project. He added council could decrease the distance between hives later, rather than increase. That way, he added, if council chose to decrease the distance, it would not force anyone to give up their bees.

There are several strict orders before hives are approved. Two include that the hive owner must possess a beekeeping licence and he/she can only use the honey for personal use unless they buy a business licence.

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