Regulations in NB
Every beekeeper, even backyard beekeepers, are required to register their bees with the Provincial Apiarist (Chris Maund) every spring before the end of May. Although this may seem like invasive government beurocracy, it is for the benefit of all beekeepers, and is free. If you obtain bees after May 31st, you must register them within 10 days of their receipt. The forms can be found here. At every site that you have bees, you have to post a conspicuous sign (at least 10 x 15cm) with the beekeeper's name and address.
Once you are registered, a renewal form will automatically be sent to you every spring. Registration allows the government to monitor the increase/decrease in hives following overwintering to gauge the overall numbers of healthy hives. A decrease in bee health can trigger action that will help this population, so monitoring and registration is important.
Having been registered, the Provincial Apiary Inspector (Fletcher Colpitts) will arrange with you at some point to visit your hives and will provide guidance and advice on how to recognise and avoid diseases, again to support the health of your colony.
Old fasioned Skeps, often seen in cartoons made of straw with the bees entering a hole in the bottom, are illegal in New Brunswick. The apiary inspector cannot open such a hive to inspect for bee health.
If you have bees and fruit trees, it is illegal to spray the fruit blooms with any compounds of arsenic.
Many municipalities around the world are awakening to the importance of bees to the overall sustainability of the environment and are doing their part to foster local 'backyard' beekeepers. Some jurisdictions have bylaws that specifically mention where and how bees can be kept to minimise their impact on other residents. Some do not explicitly prohibit beekeeping, and beekeepers operate, often without neighbours even being aware of bees nearby.
It is important that you ask your local muncicipal bylaws offices if there are any ordinances prohibiting backyard beekeeping.
The city of Fredericton bylaws do not allow bees except under specific circumstances with a temporary use variance. This must be applied for through the city planning office at a cost of $250.
The following jurisdictions are known to be aware of, allow backyard beekeeping:
Town of St Andrews NB
Town of St Stephen, NB
Locations explicitly restricting/prohibiting backyard beekeeping:
Town of Oromocto - Bees considered Farm Animals, prohibited Bylaw 417 s8.
If you know of other local bylaws, please let us know at the "Send us a Message" link below!