As you may know, our Head Office roof is home to eight honey bee hives as part of our corporate hive hosting partnership with Toronto Bee Rescue (TBR). This initiative is a great way to make use of our empty roof space, transforming it into a hub for local pollination, and providing a site for the apiaries to thrive. Hive hosting plays a key role in our commitment to sustainability, and it also means we get to harvest a batch of sweet local honey each year, made right at our Head Office!
Honey bees and other pollinators have been threatened in recent years with the overuse of pesticides and a decline in biodiversity. Toronto Bee Rescue specializes in the humane removal and relocation of honeybees, in addition to corporate hive hosting as a way to help save the bees.
We sat down with Sarah from TBR to learn more about the organization, honey bees, and what you can do at home to help:
Were you always passionate about bees? How did the Toronto Bee Rescue get started?
My husband Peter and I began beekeeping out of interest in 2010 after my father-in-law was experiencing some difficulty with beekeeping. We wanted to expand our bee yards, so we started collecting honey bee swarms in Toronto. This quickly grew to fill the need for humane honey bee hive removals. We now offer the humane honey bee hive removal services, free swarm removal, a variety of local seasonal terroir honeys and a line of naturally fermented honey vinegars.
What’s your favourite fun fact about bees that most people wouldn’t know?
Male honey bees (drones) do not have stingers!
What’s a myth about bees that you’d like to dispel?
Not all stinging insects are honey bees. Many people do not realize that wasps and honey bees are two different species, and behave quite different from each other.
How can people help to save the bees?
Plant pollinator friendly plants on your balconies, urban gardens or farms. Early blooming flowers are also great for the emerging hibernating native bees and honey bees.
What can I do at home or at work to help the bees?
Purchasing local Ontario honey directly from the beekeepers themselves. It helps directly supports the local beekeeping community and helps pollinate the food you eat.
Are there any new initiatives Toronto Bee Rescue has planned for the future?
How can people help the bees in the off season?
Support local beekeepers directly. They can be found at farmers’ markets throughout the city.
We’ve had an amazing experience working with TBR over the past year and a half, and hope to continue to add to our rooftop hive hosting initiative. We encourage you to look for ways you can help the bees in your everyday life – together we can work towards a future where pollinators thrive!
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