Some residences and businesses in Airdrie will be a hive of activity later this year.  Literally.  

The City of Airdrie is looking for 20 residents and ten businesses in the city to become urban beekeepers for the second phase of the Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project.

Airdrie Senior Planner Gail Gibeau explains that the project started in 2018.  "We did Phase One last year where we actually had a beehive on city property that we used as a public education campaign to get people interested in urban beekeeping and get a first-hand knowledge.  And now fast forward to this year now and we're doing Phase Two and we're allowing urban beekeeping on private property."

Gibeau says people will be able to participate if they're on a residential or commercial property.  20 applications will be accepted from residents of Airdrie while 10 business applications will be accepted.  Gibeau says there are several requirements before becoming an urban beekeeper.  The first and most important one is talking to your neighbours to find out if they approve.

"There is a guideline in terms of how many hives are allowed on a property, location of the hives, the application requirement process itself.  One of the things we do ask for is that they get their neighbours consent prior to making an application.  By all means go to the project website, airdrie.ca/urbanbees.  Have a look at all the information that's there and then give us a call."

According to Gibeau, they're looking for the beekeepers to live in all areas of the city.  "We're trying to disperse as much as possible.  What we don't want to have happen is that we have it in a cluster in an area.  We don't want the bees to be competing for the food sources in that area.  We want to spread it out as much as possible throughout the city."

Some minimum training will be required prior to starting the project, but Gibeau points out it's not required to apply. 

The beekeeping project is part of the city's efforts to incorporate urban agricultural projects within the city's boundaries.  The city wants to bring awareness about pollinators and protecting their habitats.  Honey bees are used for pollinating agricultural crops like canola, alfalfa, and clover and are critical for crops like blueberries, cherries, apples, and strawberries.

The city will accept applications until they've received enough to run a successful pilot project. 

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