Beekeepers are buzzing over a victory at city hall.
The city's property and development committee not only voted on Tuesday to allow bee hives in the downtown, but made it a permitted use and not conditional.
The difference means lower fees for beekeepers to start hives. A conditional use permit would have cost beekeepers upwards of $1,200 plus taxes.
A permitted use for bees would be approximately $200.
The new city bylaw will allow beekeepers to start hives on rooftops of downtown buildings.
Beekeeper Chris Kirouac was at the meeting at city hall on Tuesday and said this is a great first step. He hopes that hives will eventually be allowed across the whole city.
"So I'm hoping that within a year or two we can see it open a lot wider, for myself I think that we have enough really solid examples from cities across Canada that have it wide open, that have had positive experiences that we don't need to drag our feet on this." Kirouac said.
The new amended rules brings Winnipeg on-side with most major Canadian cities in allowing beekeeping in urban environments.
Urban beekeeping has been gaining popularity for a number of reasons, including concern about the drop in bee populations.
The Fort Garry Hotel made a request last May to allow five hives on its roof.
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City of Winnipeg administration prepared an amendment to the downtown zoning bylaw that would allow beekeeping downtown.
The report addresses some concerns about bees, including saying honey bees are generally docile and only sting to protect the hive.
It also states hives already exist in the city of Winnipeg in areas zoned agricultural.
The report allows a maximum of four hives, plus one nucleus hive, for a total of five.
Hive openings should not be pointed towards balconies, patios or public spaces.
Hives that aren't on rooftops need to be behind two-metre-high fences.
City of Winnipeg report on urban beekeeping
City of Winnipeg report on urban beekeeping (PDF KB)
City of Winnipeg report on urban beekeeping (Text KB)