Some of the movements of a young male grizzly bear in the area of Mountain Station and well into the City of Nelson in mid September through mid October 2010.

At this point, Nelson not able to welcome chickens and bees

I support the efforts of Nelson residents to raise their own food, however...

Re: Hens and bees within Nelson city limits

I support the efforts of Nelson residents to raise their own food, however I also know from my 30-plus years professional experience as a biologist specializing in bears, that hens and bees can be powerful attractants to bears and other predators.

In principle, it is possible to raise hens and bees and have minimal conflict with bears and other predators.  However, this requires a concerted effort on the part of individual residents and also strong guidance and direction from City staff.

I would be more optimistic about this possibility, but unfortunately to date, City staff and residents have not done a very good job of managing garbage, fruit trees, and other attractants.

A revised Waste Management Bylaw with wildlife attractant regulations has been in place since June 2011, but there has not been a concerted effort by City staff to make sure residents adhere to those regulations. If a better job is not done to regulate and manage all bear attractants, then hens and bees in the city will exacerbate an already very difficult situation. Multiple bears are killed every year and human property damaged in the city because of the inaction of individuals and the community at large.

Consequently, I would only support the keeping of hens and bees in the City of Nelson if there was a strong bylaw regulating their husbandry and effective enforcement of this bylaw to ensure residents were meeting or exceeding the regulations.

This bylaw should contain the following:

• Beehives and chicken coops must be protected by a properly constructed and maintained predator-exclusion electric fence. Despite some people’s fears, electric fences pose little danger to humans. What risk would you rather have, the small possibility that a child is mildly shocked by an electric fence or the larger possibility that they bump into a black bear or grizzly bear roaming the city destroying coops and beehives?

• Chickens should be housed in appropriate coops that meet City specifications and should not be roaming freely.

• Chickens should be put in a hard sided hut within the coop at night.

• Chicken feed should be stored in a bear-resistant container or facility and extra chicken feed should be cleaned up every day.

• Residents raising chickens or bees must be registered with the City and sign an agreement to maintain the chickens or bees according to the bylaw.

Grant MacHutchon



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

Just Posted

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

Phase three presents new opportunities for Kootenay tourism

Message from MLA Michelle Mungall and MLA Katrine Conroy

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read