Urban Beekeeping

In 2022, the City of Yorkton approved an Animal Control Bylaw Amendment to permit Urban Hobby beekeeping after a pilot project that took place in 2021. With the Bylaw Amendment, the City is also permitting the keeping of leafcutter bees, however, only honeybees will require an annual permit.    

Things you need to know before you apply:

  • The intention of the program is to permit hobby urban beekeeping.  Permit holders may not sell honey they produce from the hive or any other by-products. 
  • You must get a City of Yorkton Urban Beekeeping Permit at a cost of $50 (plus GST) annually. 
  • An application does not guarantee a permit will be issued. 

How to apply to be an urban beekeeper in Yorkton

  1. Review the guidelines provided below.
  2. Contact the Bylaw & Safety Supervisor by telephone at 306-828-2425 or by email with the following information:
  • Contact name
  • House address and mailing address (if different)
  • Phone number and email address

The Bylaw & Safety Supervisor will get in contact with you to let you know if you're eligible and to continue further discussions about the process and next steps. 

A site visit will also be required following permit issuance for the Bylaw & Safety Supervisor to verify compliance with the requirements. 

The Animal Control Bylaw provides the following guidelines for Urban Beekeepers:

 General regulations
  • No person shall keep more than one active hive with six supers on one property. 
  • Honeybees are not permitted on a property that is within 25 metres from any public space or school property. 
  • Beekeepers must provide a water source within their backyard for the bees.
  • Beekeepers must provide a standard of care to prevent disease and swarms.
 Hive location
  • The hive must be set up in the rear of the property.
  • The hive cannot be placed within three metres of any property line or a six foot hedge/fence must be between neighbouring property lines.
  • Hives must be placed so the hive entrance is directed away from adjacent residential properties. 
 Notification required
  • Beekeepers must notify all surrounding neighbours within a 25 metre radius of their property with a letter provided from the City of Yorkton.  
  • Beekeepers must notify all neighbours adjacent to their property with a letter provided from the City of Yorkton to notify them prior to honey extraction days. 

The City provides a list of properties that the letters must be delivered to. 

 Additional requirements

Beekeepers must:  

  1. Take the Saskatchewan Beekeeping Development Commission Introductory Course and provide documentation to the Bylaw & Safety Supervisor that this was completed successfully. 
  2. Register as a beekeeper, as per The Apiaries Act and Regulations, with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. 
  3. Adhere to The Apiaries Act and The Apiaries Regulations.  
  4. Make the hive available for inspection when requested.

What do I do if I see a swarm?

A “swarm” is the name for what happens when a colony of bees leaves the hive to find a new home.  When this happens, a mass of bees gathers on a tree, fence, etc. while seeker bees go out to find a new home.  If you see a swarm, leave the swarm alone.  It won’t hurt you if you leave it alone.  Typically the swarm will move along on their own within approximately 24 hours. 

Please note: a swarm is not the same as a bee nest or hive. 

If you find a swarm on your property, please contact the City of Yorkton Bylaw Services Division by email or by telephone at 306-786-1725 and provide your name, phone number and the location where the swarm is at.  If it is determined that the swarm is not honey bees, the homeowner will be responsible for getting rid of the wasp or bumblebee swarm themselves. 

If you see a swarm in a park, green space or recreation area, contact the Parks Department at 306-786-1780 and inform them of the location of the swarm.