Whitehorse gardeners pitch downtown beehives

The group behind Whitehorse's downtown community garden has a sweet idea - to set up a couple of beehives downtown and provide honey to the food bank.

Apiary would produce honey for food bank, says gardeners' association

The Downtown Urban Gardeners Association hopes to add two hives to its community garden in Whitehorse, each with up to 20,000 bees. (Submitted by Don Mark)

A group of avid gardeners in Whitehorse has a sweet idea — to establish an apiary in the city's downtown. 

The Downtown Urban Gardeners Society wants to add two beehives to its community garden at Seventh Avenue and Ray Street. Each hive could contain up to 20,000 bees.

The group has applied to Whitehorse city council to amend a zoning bylaw to allow the hives.

"This is a great thing, because not only is it going to help increase our vegetable and berry production, for the neighbours, for the food bank, it's going to provide a really well-rounded community garden activity," said Randy Lamb of the gardeners society.

Lamb said some of the honey from the hives would be donated to the food bank.

Lamb said the garden would follow policies used by other cities, since Whitehorse has no guidelines for keeping bees within the city. He doesn't expect the bees to be a nuisance to downtown residents, because they are typically docile and not attracted to compost. The hives would be set back at least three meters from the garden fence. 

The gardeners would also be required to consult with the Whitehorse Bear Working Group, to avoid any sticky situations with honey-loving bears.

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