Wildflower students watch bees in a portable hive. The school wants an observational hive installed in one of its classrooms. Photo: Tyler Harper
Bad Video Embed Code

Wildflower students watch bees in a portable hive. The school wants an observational hive installed in one of its classrooms. Photo: Tyler Harper

Buzz off, bylaw!

Local group petitions city to scrap bee bylaw

Keith Stetsko wants a bee hive in every school in Canada. But right now he’ll settle for Nelson.

Stetsko, who has been a beekeeper for over 50 years, was part of a small delegation who asked city council Monday to consider changing a bylaw that prevents beekeeping within city limits.

His group, the Slocan-based Bee Awareness Society, are making the request in part because it wants to install observation hives in classrooms at Wildflower School and Hume School. The Nelson Waldorf School, which is unaffected by the bylaw as it is located just outside city limits, has also requested a hive.

Stetsko makes the hives, which he said have been a hit elsewhere, such as W.E. Graham in Slocan where the school has had a hive for three years.

“I’m very enthused. Especially when you see the love for bees on the little kids’ faces,” he said. “They’re scared at first, they put their hand out and have bees walking on them and then they have absolutely no fear. It’s pretty neat.”

Laurryn Asbell’s Kindergarten-Grade 1 class from Wildflower also spoke to council and performed the song that can be seen in this video.

It isn’t the first time council has been asked to review the bee policy. The last request was made in 2014, but was never voted on.

Axel Krause, the Ministry of Agriculture’s bee inspector for the Kootenays, also spoke on behalf of the society. He said allergies and bears are the typical concerns people have about bees, but are both mostly unfounded.

He said hives can be built so they don’t draw bears into the city, and people with allergies are rarely stung.

“There are people who are allergic but they probably know it and they would not become beekeepers,” said Krause. “And bees will leave everyone alone. The people who get stung are the beekeepers. Because we go into the hive, we tear the roof off, we rearrange the furniture, we check what the babies are doing, we blow smoke in. So if I did that to your house you wouldn’t be too happy either.”

Asbell’s class later swarmed around a portable hive brought to Wildflower on Wednesday by the society. Krause said the unique hives — which featured two or three frames covered by glass — let children watch everything bees do, from the queen laying eggs to dancing to show where pollen and nectar is.

“They are much smaller units, but the bees will live in that and they do quite well,” said Krause.

Councillors indicated there may be a way to amend the City Animal Control bylaw to allow for hives installed in schools. The request was made at a committee of the whole meeting, in which council hears but doesn’t make decisions on proposals.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Laurryn Asbell’s K-1 class poses near the bee hive provided for the day by the Bee Awareness Society.  Photo: Tyler Harper

Laurryn Asbell’s K-1 class poses near the bee hive provided for the day by the Bee Awareness Society. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

Nelson dancers Glynis Waring, Slava Doval and Amanda Papailhou, and musician Nella Banner, premier Respired on April 11. Photo: Submitted
New dance work the latest online offering from Capitol Theatre

Local performers will unveil Respired beginning April 11

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

Most Read