Saskatoon

There will be no bee hives on the roof of Saskatoon City Hall

A feasibility study on putting bees on the roof of City Hall shows there are a swarm of obstacles around the idea.

The weight of the hives and bees swarming are potential problems, city report says

A colony of around twenty thousand bees call this University of Regina rooftop home. (Dann Mackenzie/CBC)

A report studying the feasibility of putting bees on the roof of Saskatoon City Hall shows there are a swarm of obstacles around the idea.

Councillor Darren Hill asked the city to provide information regarding the University Saskatchewan's experience with rooftop beekeeping and how to potentially make it feasible at Saskatoon's civic facilities, including City Hall.

The University of Saskatchewan proposed a rooftop beekeeping project on Kirk Hall. It was aimed at providing an educational opportunity for students and at promoting urban food production. The idea was ultimately rejected.

The report — which came up Monday morning at the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services meeting — highlighted potential problems the city would encounter that matched many of those that led to the U of S rejecting the idea.

Those included:

  • The weight of hives which could reach 500 pounds (227 kgs).
  • The rooftop is not safe for beekeepers.
Two hives were installed on a roof in Winnipeg. (CBC)
  • The risk of stings because bees would have to be brought through the building to the roof.
  • Cold winters could wipe out hives.
  • The risk of swarming.
  • Access to fresh water for the bees.
  • Currently, no staff is available.
One of the potential risks of rooftop hives is bees swarming to other buildings, said the city report. (Getty Images)

Coun. Hill has been looking into the idea for more than a decade but said the challenges for creating rooftop hives were too numerous.

Right now, Saskatoon residents are allowed to have honey bees on their property.

Rooftop hives have been installed at MacEwan University in Edmonton. (supplied)

The urban beekeepers are required to register their hives with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.