Here are some necessary steps to becoming an urban bee keeper in the District of Squamish:

STEP 1:  Comply with municipal and federal regulations

Before starting the practice of bee keeping, it is important to read and understand the municipal and federal regulations that govern bee keeping.

STEP 2: Register the beehive(s) with the Ministry of Agriculture:

STEP 3: Research and understand what the best practices are for bee keeping.

To request a beehive inspection, please contact the Ministry of Agriculture Apiary Inspector:

Allowable Zones


All, but must be a resident on the property and be able to comply with all regulatory provisions with respect to the keeping of bees.

Permitted number of hives


Keep no more than:

- two (2) Beehives on any parcel of land under 929 square metres (10,000 square feet) in size despite the number of dwelling units permissible on that parcel;

- four (4) Beehives on any parcel of land over 929 square metres (10,000 square feet) in size and under 1394 square metres (15,000 square metres) in size despite the number of dwelling units permissible on that parcel;

- six (6) Beehives on any parcel of land over 1,394 square metres (15,000 square feet) in size despite the number of dwelling units permissible on that parcel.

Siting restrictions

Back yards only with a continuous fence that is 1.8 metres in height to ensure the appropriate flight path of bees; Situated in accordance with the accessory building setbacks identified in the Zoning Bylaw; and in such a way that reasonably prevents access by wildlife.

Beehive requirements


In the case of electric security fencing to prevent wildlife from accessing urban hens, beehives, fruit or other food sources:

a)      Urban hen coops and pens, as well as beehives, must be surrounded by electric security fencing at a minimum distance of 1m from hen coop, pen or beehive.

b)      For beehives, the non-electrified perimeter fence identified in 4.6 (d) (i) must be 1.8m in height.

c)       A minimum of six strands of 12.5 gauge high tensile galvanized wire is required, with the bottom wire no more than 5 cm from the ground and subsequent wires spaced at an interval of no greater than 25 cm apart, with alternating positive and negative strands, with the top wire at the height of no less than 110cm from the ground;

d)      Electric fence shall be programmed to a minimum conduction of 6000 volts to a maximum of 10,000 volts;

e)      Corner posts and gate areas must be braced to ensure posts will not bend or pull from the ground when the wire is pulled to the appropriate tension. Install guy wires or inside angle braces to alleviate any tightening/loosening problems; and

f)       Ground the system using three (3) 16mm ground rods, 2-3 m deep and spaced at least three (3) m apart, connected to the negative output terminal of the fence charger by ground clamps. Place the rods in moist soil when available which insures a good ground.

Preventing Nuisances

Maintain Bees in a condition that reasonably prevents swarming and aggressive behaviour; must take immediate action to end swarming or aggressive behaviour; provide sufficient water to prevent Bees from seeking water on adjacent parcels of land.



Must be registered with the apiculture registration system for British Columbia, coordinated by the BC Ministry of Agriculture (BCMA). Under the authority of the Provincial Bee Act, a person must not keep Bees or possess Beehive equipment unless the person is registered.



Provincial Apiculturist

Paul van Westendorp, 1767 Angus Campbell Rd. Abbotsford, BC V3G 2M3 604.556.3129 fx. 604.556.3015 or email


Apiary Inspectors

Beekeeping Area Name Contact
Greater Vancouver, Squamish-Pemberton Jaquie Bunse  604.521.4493 or email
Fraser Valley Scott Gordon 604.220.0336 or email


Report a Bee Swarm:

Bee swarms can occur in June to July and are perfectly normal occurences. A swarm is when the Queen leaves the hive, along with approximately half of the bees, to start another colony elsewhere. While honey bee swarms are not dangerous, they can create a situation that many people are not comfortable with or knowledgeble about. There are some local resources within the community who are happy to assist you with any questions or concens and who can lend a hand should your bees swarm:

Colin Bates 604.614.5114 or email
Todd Griffiths 604.848.8082 or email


Sea to Sky Beekeepers Facebook page.


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