Apiary at the Downtown community garden.
Urban beekeeping is an excellent way to improve pollination for plants. With good management practices, beekeeping is a safe activity and is allowed within Whitehorse on properties that are zoned AG (Agriculture), RC1 and RC2 (Country Residential 1 and 2), as well as at the Downtown community garden. Apiary (hive) development is a provision of "hobby agriculture" in the Zoning Bylaw.
Will the Regulations Change?
The City is in the process of reviewing its agricultural policies and regulations that are applicable to properties within Whitehorse. General recommendations on beekeeping and apiary development may be included in the upcoming Local Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy. If you have ideas, comments, or concerns on this topic, we’d like to hear from you!
Reporting a Honey Bee Swarm
Honey bees can occasionally swarm between late April and early June. When a swarm occurs, about half of the bees in a hive will leave with the queen to start a new colony. Typically, the swarm will rest for a short period of time within several metres from the original hive before relocating to find a more permanent location. A swarm of honey bees is not typically dangerous, but can understandably make people feel uncomfortable.
If you see a swarm of honey bees, contact the City's Trouble Line at (867) 667-2111. A local beekeeper will be contacted to help collect the swarm. There are many kinds of wild and domesticated bees found in Yukon; check resources online to confirm that you are dealing with honey bees. Swarms can relocate quickly, so it is important to report a swarm right away.
If you keep honey bees on your property, consider installing electric fencing, particularly in areas with high incidence of wildlife encounters:
- Government of Yukon booklet: Reducing Wildlife Conflict with Electric Fencing: A Beginner's Guide
- WildWise webpage on electric fencing