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The City of Moose Jaw recently made a change to our bylaw and now makes it possible to keep bees within Moose Jaw.

Samantha Millard, a local soon-to-be bee keeper, helped to make this possible.

It all started with her having a pique in interest in bees and the desire to own them.

Millard put in the work and research to find out how to become a bee keeper. She worked with other bee keepers local to our area and finally made the decision to have her own bee hives.

She then contacted the city to see if there were any bylaws that prohibited the keeping of them and soon discovered that they were in the process of prohibiting bees in the city.

Millard said she searched and didn't find a reason for why they would be banning them, so she decided to confront the council and possibly stop the prohibition.

"I believe one of their reason[s] one of their bylaw enforcement officers had brought it up as a housekeeping matter because, previously, an old bylaw had been prohibiting bee keeping and they had repealed it in 2012 and then put forth this new bylaw, but it didn't cover bee keeping. So I guess in the past five years or so they've just been saying no when really there's been no bylaw prohibiting it."

A written statement that Millard presented to the council said "to permit the keeping of bees would not be unreasonable. There is minimal risk and the bee keeper would bear all liability surrounding his or her bees and regulation thereof provided for through the province."

Millard had managed to actually get the council interested in bees themselves and educate them a little more on bees and their benefits.

"An interesting fact for all the farmers out there in agriculture Saskatchewan, [bees] greatly increase the yield of crops," said Millard. "For example, a field of canola has been shown to increase as much as forty to fifty percent yield just by having the presence of pollinating insects such as bees."

She said that anyone can get bees also, if they are interested.

First, you have to register with the Saskatchewan Apiculturists and order your bees. If you order any bees from outside the province, they will have to be inspected and cleared first.

Millard warns, though, that bees are easy to get but hard to keep alive, and people should do the research needed before getting any.

Now, Millard is ready to receive her bees, and they are arriving sometime in the spring.

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