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.

Beekeepers Areas
Alan Garr
Kitsilano, Point Grey
Adam Newberry
Alan Wong
Dunbar, Kerrisdale, Kitsilano, Point Grey, Southlands
Daniel Jensen
East Vancouver
Fiona Gold
778-984-2366 (text is best)
East Vancouver, Burnaby
Janice Bennett
Dunbar, Kerrisdale, Southlands
Laura Zazzara
East Vancouver, City Centre
Willie Gunther
Mount Pleasant, Riley Park

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.