For decades, beekeeping in BC was governed by the Bee Act, but that all changed last year. The provincial government enacted 'The Animal Health Act', and beekeeping is now covered under that act which superceeds the Bee Act. Last year at the British Columbia Honey Producers Association Semi-Annual and Annual general meetings, the provincial apiarist gave summaries of the changes, which aren't a lot, but do have some significant points. The provincial apiarist website is located here:- http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/i...food/animals-and-crops/animal-production/bees
Beekeeper and apiary registration is required in BC. Forms are available online at the above noted provincial apiarist link. It's a simple and quick process.
Some items that Paul (the provincial apiarist) highlighted to us during his presentations on this subject, I'm summarizing from memory, so my verbiage may not be 'exact'.
- The ministry of agriculture is not involved in the business of beekeeping , the purpose of the apiary department is strictly defined as one of dealing with health issues of the honeybee population.
- Apiary registration is required for monitoring of bee disease, and so folks can be informed of outbreaks in the area.
- One major difference between the old Bee Act, and the new Animal Health act, the new act specifically prohibits open feeding of bees.
- The province is divided into 'bee districts', and movement of bees within a district is unrestricted. Movement of bees across district lines requires a certificate of health obtained from one of the provincial bee inspectors.
- When an apiary is found during inspection to have a 'reportable' disease present, a hold order zone will be established, and all apiaries within that zone will be inspected. There will be no movement of bees within hold zones until a certificate of health has been issued for those bees. All beekeepers with an apiary inside the affected area will be notified when this occurs. Hold order is the new act verbiage for what used to be called a quarantine area.
- Bees or equipment must be inspected for disease before being sold.
That's the short summary, and for more specifics, the bee specific part of the regulations linked above is a 10 minute easy read.
Thanks, Grozzie. I'm a backyard beek in Victoria, and am ashamed to say I knew very little of the above... My hives & I are registered, and I've met the new island inspector, but was not aware of the changes you mention last year. I'll try to get myself a bit better educated...
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