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Urban Beekeeping Issues in Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association Position Regarding Urban Beekeeping

The challenge before us lies in the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador is the last place on earth that has never experienced the honeybee diseases and colony collapse disorder highlighted in recent years.  Combined with the fact that most arable land and bee pasture in this province are adjacent to populated areas, our beekeepers need to work cooperatively with our Municipalities to promote safe and responsible beekeeping practices.  There is a real and meaningful opportunity for our Municipalities to protect and enhance this last sanctuary of honeybees and enjoy the benefits of local pollination of gardens, orchards and blueberry crops.

To this end the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association (NLBKA) offers the following suggestions to Municipalities:

  1. Discourage the use of toxic pesticides and treated seeds containing Neonicotinoids on Municipal lands.
  2. Promote pollinator friendly plantings on public lands and roadways;  an example being white clover which stabilizes and enriches soil and does not require mowing thereby saving Municipalities money.
  3. Put into place Urban Beekeeping Ordinances to protect beekeepers from random complaints and assure safe and responsible beekeeping practices. The essence of such ordinances is evident in their nationwide application noted in the Review of Legislation, By-laws, Ordinances, Regulations and Guidelines Regarding Urban Beekeeping
  4. The NLBKA recommends that Urban Beekeeping Ordinances contain the following provisions:Establish communication links with the NLBKA and local beekeepers to address any public safety concerns in a timely manner. 
    • beehives a minimum of 6 m (20 ft.) from property lines,
    • fenced apiaries or hedges to establish flyways that direct bees away from adjacent properties,
    • local water source for the apiary to prevent bees becoming a nuisance to users of local pools or hot tubs,
    • limiting the number of hives to six colonies, and
    • mandatory use of Langstroth type bee hives in higher density urban areas to limit swarm risk.  
  5. A provincial beekeeper registry and licensure program is presently under discussion to assist with the longterm management of urban and rural beekeeping.

We at the NLBKA are committed to preserving the health of our honeybees and native bees as well as expanding provincial honeybee stocks.  It is our goal to work cooperatively with our Provincial and Municipal governments to achieve these aims.  

 

Photo courtesy P. Armitage 2015Photo courtesy P. Armitage 2015Did you know? Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association has partnered with the O'Brien Farm Foundation in St. John's to establish an Urban Beekeeping Education Centre at the old farm, located near the Avalon Mall. The Association will be hosting workshops and other events at the Education Centre.  One of its purposes is to demonstrate responsible and safe urban beekeeping practices. 

 


DocumentaryPortrait of an Urban Beekeeper (20 minutes)


 

 

Town of Witless Bay brochure, 2015Town of Witless Bay brochure, 2015