This is the first year that we have run our Bees4Communities Program and I am happy to say that this collaborative program is going exceedingly well! The honeybees have been struggling with this rainy summer, but with the support of the Bees4Communities participants, we have been able to not only keep our bees growing and healthy, but had bees to share with our educational programming all summer!
What is the Bees4Communities Program?
The Bees4Communities Project allows for us to share in the wealth that beekeeping in Calgary offers with local industry. This year, Calgary Food Tours, Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Forage Foods, Ox and Angela and UNA Pizza and Wine are not only owners of new honeybees, but as guardians of these bees, A.B.C is able to use these honeybees as educational tools for our growing programming! Throughout the summer, you will be able to view how the colonies are doing by reading their monthly Report Cards as well, as view and work with these colonies on the Home2Hive Bicycle Tours.
Who is participating in the B4C Program?
Calgary Food Tours honeybees are doing very well this year set-up at two locations: the rooftop garden at Downtown Food Restaurant in Calgary city centre and the other at River Run Garden in Shouldice Park. These two locations offer great educational accessability to our students and guests, as well as offer the very important pollination service needed at these really neat and unique garden locations.
Fairmont Palliser Hotel honeybees are in the care of A.B.C for their second year this year. they have been the foundations for the major programs that we have run this year as not only did the two colonies over winter exceedingly well, they have offered their strength in numbers to help us in our Queen Breeding program, working as incubator colonies for growing new queens. We are very excited about their growth and the potential for a good honey harvest, despite the terrible weather that we have been having this spring and summer here in Calgary
Forage Food honeybees are nicely placed in Wade Sirois, Forages’ owner, backyard. Wade is a huge advocate for local food and has been for what seems like eons. The bees have been a wonderful accent to his yard and A.B.C is pleased to be using the hives to mentor Wade in the art of beekeeping as well as his staff and children. With an ever expanding understanding of food and farming, Wade is able to share this knowledge with his clientele first hand!
Ox and Angela and UNA Pizza and Wine honeybees are side-by-side in the beautiful River Run Garden. These hives have been growing with the knowdlge that they have been sharing with the curious Calgarians that have been coming to many of the A.B.C hands-on events throughout this summer. These hives are offering pollination service to the garden and to the community! Expect their honey to be on their Fall menu this year!
What do we do for them?
When these businesses chose to invest in urban beekeeping in their part to not only support the development of urban beekeeping and honeybee health here in the city of Calgary, they not only were generous enough to put the bees in our care, they were generous enough to allow us to share their bees with Calgarians. So, in return, we offer monthly report cards on their well-being, monthly journal reports, as well as updating them through their care, programs taking place in their hives, and fun facts about bees via Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
How can you learn more?
We have quite a few events coming up that you can participate in: see the bees, eat the honey, and learn more about beekeeping through the support of the Bees4Communities Program
July 19-21st, 2013 Booth set-up at Market Collective 5 Year Anniversary Event
August 11th, 2013 Honeybee Hive Lunch and Learn- Hands-on beekeeping and Potluck
August 12th, 2013 Home2Hive Bicycle
August 26th, 2013 Home2Hive Bicycle
September 15th, 2013 SlowFoods Feast to Fields event, hives on site to get your hands sticky!
September 22nd, 2013 REAP Calgary’s Food For Thought event, info booth
You can always visit our website at http://www.backyardbees.ca to learn more about other programs taking place, learn about bees, and learn how to get started here in Calgary!