Urban Chickens and Bees

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High River Town Council has passed Urban Chickens bylaw 4470/2016 and Urban Bees Bylaw 4471/2016 that outline the conditions permitting chickens and beehives to be retained by residents within town limits for personal use only.

Administration has also prepared a policy and specific licensing criteria that was compiled from a review of other communities and organizations, which have already determined the critical limitations necessary to license and maintain proper ownership in a safe and acceptable manner.

Review the Bee and Chicken License Handout

Fill out a Bee and Chicken application

Any person who keeps urban chickens must:

  • Review the Town’s Urban Chicken Coop Guidelines
  • Residents must also comply with any Federal and Provincial law or regulations around the keeping of hens. The Province of Alberta requires all owners of poultry (including small urban flocks) to register their flocks into a provincial database and obtain a Premises Identification (PID) number. This will enable the province to keep track of livestock in case of potential disease outbreak.
  • Liability insurance must be obtained by the applicant
  • Applicants must notify their adjacent  neighbours that they intend to apply for an urban chicken license
  • Applicants must complete a chicken education course from an accepted organization or association
  • Once the above steps are complete, applicants can submit an application along with a Fee of $75. Once approved, it must be renewed on an annual basis. Be prepared to provide information about your site, your training, registration and PID.

For Provincial and Federal information and regulations, please visit:

Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Premises Identification (PID)

Any person who keeps urban beehives must:

  • Review the Town’s Beekeeping Guidelines
  • As a part of the Bee Act and Regulation, beekeepers must register with the Provincial Apiculturist every year by June 30. Unregistered owners are subject to fines or imprisonment under the Bee Act.
  • A Premises Identification (PID) and premises identification account must be obtained under the Premises Identification Regulation (200/2008) in the Alberta Animal Health Act. This requirement is a part of a traceability system designed to address potential threats of disease outbreaks that could affect animal health, public health and food safety.
  • Liability insurance must be obtained by the applicant.
  • Applicants must notify their adjacent neighbours that they intend to apply for an urban bee license
  • Applicants must also complete a beekeeping education course from an accepted organization or association
  • Once the above steps are complete, beekeepers can submit an application along with a Fee of $75. Once approved, it must be renewed on an annual basis. Be prepared to provide information about your beekeeping site, your training, registration and PID if you are a first time beekeeper.

Additional resources:

Calgary & District Beekeepers Association http://www.calgarybeekeepers.com/ This is a resource that can provide mentoring opportunities for new beekeepers and those who would like to keep bees in the future.

Alberta Agriculture: Beekeeping for Beginners http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex3946