Illegal urban beekeeper fights Gatineau to repeal bee bylaw
'Some people are practising yoga or some kind of meditation, I'm practising beekeeping,' Hull man says
A beekeeper is fighting the municipal government in Gatineau, Que., for the right to keep bees in his urban backyard.
Daniel Hamelin has illegally been keeping hives at the back of his property in Gatineau's Hull neighbourhood for five years. The hives are set near his back fence, with houses on either side of Hamelin's home and also just behind the fence.
He hasn't been shut down because someone would have to complain in order for the municipality to act, and he says no one has complained yet.
The city's bee bylaw, which prohibits bees in an urban context, dates back to the 1940s, he told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning on Friday.
He and others are arguing the bylaw should be repealed, in part because of the deaths of bees worldwide.
'Bees are really in trouble'
"We are a bunch of people who are really enthusiastic, and we want to share this passion with other people," he says.
"Many, many people, especially young people, they come to my hives, they want to see what's happening with the bees because they're aware of the problem the bees have everywhere on the planet, and because of all the news everywhere in the world. People are aware now that bees are really in trouble."
But that's not the only reason Hamelin keeps bees.
"Some people are practising yoga or some kind of meditation, I'm practising beekeeping. I'm not keeping these just for honey, but really just for the pleasure of it," he says.