Keeping bees as a pet? City of Calgary now has a licence for that

Aspiring amateur apiarists have the opportunity to bring bee colonies into their own backyards as part of a new City of Calgary program

Beekeeping is now regulated in the city under the responsible pet ownership bylaw, a move that was approved by council in June 2021.

"Beekeeping has become an increasingly popular hobby in Calgary," explained Jennifer Lawlor, strategic services leader with Calgary Community Standards, in a statement.

"The City of Calgary wants beekeeping to remain a safe pastime, and the licensing regulations ensure new beekeepers are properly trained and adhere to commonly accepted beekeeping practices that prevent potential community issues."

According to the city, licenses will be granted to applicants who:

  • Provide proof they own the property where the colony will live; and,
  • Have been trained, mentored or are able to provide proof of beekeeping experience.

Those who receive a permit must notify the city if the colony will be relocated and adhere to the rules governing the distribution or sale of honey.

For additional details on the program visit City of Calgary - Urban Bee Program