Apiculture (beekeeping) is allowed within Whitehorse on properties that are zoned AG-Agriculture, RC1-Country Residential 1, and RC2-Country Residential 2, as well as at the Downtown community garden. Apiculture is a provision of the “agriculture, major” and “agriculture, hobby” uses in the City’s Zoning Bylaw. Potential changes to the City’s apiculture regulations were identified in the 2020 Local Food & Urban Agriculture Study.
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 web page on electric fencing
Honey bees can occasionally swarm, mostly commonly during spring time. When a swarm occurs, about half of the bees in a hive will leave with the queen bee to start a new colony elsewhere. Typically, the swarm will rest for a short period of time within several metres of the original hive before relocating to find a more permanent location. Swarms are not typically dangerous, but can understandably make people feel uncomfortable.
If you see a swarm of honey bees, contact a local beekeeper to assist you and ideally include a photo in your email. 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.