Honey Bee Stings and Neighbor Complaints in Canada

Honey bee stingIt’s been two years since Saskatoon residents Wasyl and Emily Isak started their honeybee hobby according to the StarPhoenix. They enjoy making honey with the help of the honeybees and even share with their neighbors. But, some neighbors have had enough.

Hank Drexler and Audrey Ivanauskas sent a letter to the city of Saskatoon regarding the backyard apiary. Though honeybees are not considered aggressive, honey bees can still deliver a sting – at the cost of their life. When a honeybee stings, it dies. The bee sting is cited as a potential threat in the letter especially to those who might have a bee sting allergy.

The beekeepers claim that this is the first time they have ever heard anyone complain and other neighbors in the area say that they do not find the bees annoying nor has there been any reported bee stings as a result of the area beehive. Incidentally, not all bees are created equal. According to Wikipedia, there are over 20,000 species of bees and honey bees represent a tiny fraction.

As for local laws, the province’s apiculturist (overseer for the management and care of bees for business purposes) requires that the bee operation register with the province. But, there is no city law that prevents beekeeping. Geoff McLeod, pest management supervisor with the City of Saskatoon told the StarRegister, “We only found out recently about these backyard apiaries. We don’t know a lot about them.”

It’s now in the hands of the local city council to decide if a beekeeping law is necessary for the city limits.

September 5, 2008 – 2:20 pm

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