Increasing the buzz in Oak Bay

Simple bylaw change would welcome more hives to the area

Barb Vucko

Barb Vucko

A simple switch from “and” to “or” could see a swarm of bees set up residence in Shirley Hunter’s flower bed.

The Oak Bay woman hopes to add a little buzz to her backyard, and oomph to her flowerbed, with a beehive.

“We would like to have bees, it’s good for our gardens,” she said. “And there’s the lack of knowledge about sudden colony collapse. … Last year 65 per cent of the Island’s bees died.”

Her friend and neighbour Barb Vucko, already a keeper of mason bees, agrees.

“Anything to keep the native bee species,” she said. “It’s one more part of trying to keep the environment healthy.”

Hunter called on Barry “the beemaster” Denluck,  co-president of the Capital Region Beekeepers Association, as a resource. She learned that Oak Bay’s bylaws make it a tad too expensive and invasive to build a colony.

“They’ve got this distance requirement as mandatory, regardless of anything else that [beekeepers] do,” Denluck said. “That’s not true in general with beekeeping … in most municipalities.”

The bylaw says that no beehive can be located closer than six metres to any property line; and the entrance to each beehive is not less than 2.4 metres above ground level; and a beehive where the entrance is less than 2.4 metres above ground level must be behind three sections of solid fencing or other screening in a three sided shape at least two metres above ground level, with the middle section running parallel to the beehive entrance wall and each of the two wings extending back at least even with the back of the beehive.

In the spring Denluck proposed a simple alteration to make beekeeping more accessible to the community.

“There are three ways to manage bees’ flight to keep them safe,” he said. “One is platform, elevation, one is a fence around it and one is distance from the property line so when they get to the property line they’re above our head.”

Oak Bay’s bylaw, currently under review, requires all three. He and Hunter both found council receptive to altering it to allow for “or” instead of “and” opening the options.

“There was a very positive response when I presented it,” Denluck said.

“We appreciate what our council is doing, whether they support it or not,” Hunter said. “Ideally we’ll be able to interest more people, which can only contribute to a healthier community.


Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read