City council approves beekeeping in downtown Winnipeg

Downtown Winnipeg just got sweeter for beekeepers. City council approved the zoning bylaw amendment on Wednesday to allow bee hives on the rooftops of downtown buildings.

New amended rules brings Winnipeg inline with most major Canadian cities in allowing urban beekeeping

City council approves urban beekeeping in downtown Winnipeg. (Amanda Grant/CBC)

Downtown Winnipeg just got sweeter for beekeepers. 

City council approved the zoning bylaw amendment on Wednesday to allow bee hives on the rooftops of downtown buildings.

The new amended rules brings Winnipeg inline 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.

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.

Last week the city's property and development committee voted to allow bee hives in the downtown and 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.