Episode 44 – Backyard Bees

KevinBackyard Bees, Food Politics, From the Garden, Fruit from the Yard, Kevin TV9 Comments

As you may know already, I like to eat food. I therefore appreciate the work pollinators do. They are a highly necessary piece of the food supply puzzle, without which humans would be in some trouble. And they’re illegal where I live. Not that bees are illegal. They’re everywhere, doing their thing, buzzing about the city. But if you intentionally set up a home for them and coexist with them – that’s illegal. I think that’s the part that’s illegal, anyway. Progressive cities, even ultra-dense ones like Paris and New York, have given the thumbs up to keeping bees and have thriving bee-keeping communities. No apocalypse due to legal bees. Not that I’m aware of anyway.

I have to admit that one of the ‘holes’ in my local food supply is indeed a form of sustainably farmed local sugar, so bee keeping makes nothing but sense for closing that gap. Why would I not enable pollinators in my food-growing yard, and get a pile of honey for the kitchen out the deal? Because it’s illegal in #yeg, that’s why. Perhaps one day soon, it won’t be.

9 Comments on “Episode 44 – Backyard Bees”

  1. A Canadian Foodie

    Glad you fixed the problem. Too bad you couldn’t fix it for the Slow Food post. Excellent information. I cannot imagine a couple using over 100 pounds of honey in a year. How many children do they have. That might be the missing bit in that equation. I would LOVE to support a neighbourhood hive! With only 2 of us, it would be too much honey, but I completely believe in this aspect of urban agriculture and cannot (for the life of me) understand the logic in not allowing hives in the city. Crazy. Particularly with the problem with bees in general these last few years. The more we can work to sustain them, the better.
    Love your projects!
    How about doing one at my house on sheet mulching – or whatever it is called – whenever I can find a company to assist? Amy is working at that for me. I have also asked the gal that does the garden tours, but she hasn’t returned my messages. Must be a busy time. Paying is not the problem. Finding someone to help is the problem – and then it would be a great video as you don’t have that one yet, do you?

  2. Robin-Taine

    I fell in love with the idea of backyard beekeeping after watching an episode of Martha Stewart in the mid-1990’s. Unfortunently, I’ve not lived anywhere (Edmonton) that allows this wonderful activity. I’ve done a lot of reading about beekeeping and agree that bees only enhance our sustainability. It is too bad our city is so behind the times, not to mention so many other urban centres, in seeing where the true value and simplicity of food sustainability lies.

  3. TaraZ

    Hmmm…. I don’t see anything about _not_ beekeeping after searching through the Spruce Grove bylaws.

  4. Judy Z

    Interesting if tate is true, Tara. I can’t even find the section regarding pets right now. I was looking at it when I went to research regarding chickens but they seem to have changed the website. I thought when I was checking on chickens I also saw something about bees. Are you thinking of taking up bee keeping, Tara. Maybe as Spruce Grove is the home of BEE MAID HONE, they don’t put restrictions on bee keeping.

    I’m inclined to think that the top bar beehives are the way to go if someone wanted to quietly keep bees without anyone really noticing. We are all so used to the typical square bee boxes with multiple layers as bee hives that if you were to set up a top bar hive in Edmonton, I doubt that the anyone would even notice. I guess it depends if you want to be a conscious objector or if you just want to quietly produce some honey to meet your household needs.

  5. Sarah

    Bees! All that honey would be delightful… my how you spin the wheels in my brains with these posts!

  6. adalynfarm

    So sad that a city as with it as Edmonton isn’t on board with neighborhood bees. I’ve helped two families now, get into beekeeping, and it is so cool!! Great video too, and the folks had lots of great input. Funny how some folks don’t want to dive into beekeeping because “we wouldn’t know what to do with all that honey”. We have never, ever, ever had trouble unloading surplus. At $5 per lb folks are more than happy to snap it up, and in a way, the hobby can pay for itself.

    Thanks for keeping the ‘bee thing’ on people’s minds Kevin!

  7. Taraz

    So apparently it’s not explicitly illegal in spruce grove, but if the neighbours complain you might have to shut it down.

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