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Keeping bees on your property

Beekeeper and bees

As part of their goal to help make Vancouver one of the world’s most sustainable cities, Council encourages beekeeping in urban areas.

Urban beekeeping is an excellent way to improve pollination for plants in backyard, community, and public gardens, which leads to better vegetable production.

With good management practices, beekeeping is completely safe in residential areas.

Steps to becoming an urban beekeeper

If you are interested in keeping bees in your yard, there are two steps you need to follow:

  1. Review the City's beekeeping guidelines.
  2. Register your beehive with the Province of BC.

Step 1: Review the City’s beekeeping guidelines

Before you decide to keep bees, read and understand the City’s guidelines.

These guidelines help keep beekeeping safe for residential areas, and explain your responsibilities as a beekeeper:

Step 2: Register your beehive with the Province of BC

Once you set up your beehives, you must register them with the Province of BC:

Do you need to report a bee swarm?

Honeybees swarm from late April to early June, when about half of the bees in a hive leave with the queen to start a new colony.

A swarm of honey bees is not dangerous, but many people are uncomfortable with a swarm near their home.

If you see a swarm of bees, you can contact a local hobby beekeeper who will come and help.

Areas Beekeepers 

Dunbar, Kerrisdale, Southlands

  • Janice Bennett, 604-266-3331

East Vancouver

  • Norm Kaethler, 604-221-0929
  • Daniel Jensen, 778-865-8225 

Kitsilano, Point Grey

  • Alan Garr, 604-736-4184

Mount Pleasant

  • Willie Gunther, 604-874-2684
  • Norm Kaethler, 604-221-0929

Riley Park

  • Cal Easter, 604-879-8574
  • Willie Gunther, 604-874-2684

Report a bee colony concern

Regional Apiary Inspectors from the provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands inspect beehives and colonies, and ensure that they are safe. If you have concerns, contact the Ministry directly.

The ministry will send staff out to investigate. There is no charge for an apiary inspection.

You can report a concern about a beehive or colony by contacting an apiary inspector.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:
604-873-7000

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When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Donate to the Pollinator Project

Honey bee feeding on a lavender flower

To contribute to the Pollinator Project, donate online or by mail today.

Your donation will help create pollinator gardens to increase honey bee and bumble bee populations.

Donate now

See how we are helping pollinators

Pollinator Project

Pollinator Project to support bees and butterflies

We are working with local organizations to make Vancouver’s parks and gardens friendlier to bumble bees, honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Discover projects underway in your city.

Did you know...

bees at city hall

There have been two bee hives on the roof of City Hall since 2010?

It is just one way Council is working to make City facilities more sustainable.

See what else we are doing to green the city