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Category — Bees

The new face of Canadian agriculture

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Tsawwassen Farm School is a unique educational program that is a collaboration between Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Tsawwassen First Nation and on TFN land. (Jean-Philippe Marquis)

Backyard chickens. One-acre market gardens. Rooftop bees. What used to be part of the rural landscape is creeping into the cement-and-steel terrain of Canada’s urban centres, creating an intersection of food, community and education.

By Nikki Wart
Macleans
Nov 3, 2016

Excerpts:

In the past year at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College, 60 per cent of the applicants for the bachelor of science and agriculture program came from urban postal codes.

And few companies are doing it as well as Alvéole, a Montreal-based hive-keeping company founded in 2012.

“We’re basically setting up a hive and saying, ‘This is your hive, and you’re going to see food production and agriculture and environment through these bees,’ ” he says, adding that there are a lot of similarities between urban agriculture and traditional agriculture. For one, urban farmers still have to battle weather and disease.

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November 10, 2016   Comments Off on The new face of Canadian agriculture

Chicago’s Urban Beekeepers

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Pedro Ortiz, an urban beekeeper, extracting his bees from the hive “supers” (drawers) to check for honey.

Urban beekeeping and agriculture continue to grow, but a lack of native bees and wild pollinators pose challenges for urban agriculture and the bee population.

By Ariel Parrella-Aureli
The Columbia Chronicle
Sept 19, 2016

Excerpt:

While the number of beekeepers is growing, bee populations are declining, Thompson said. He said most people will only think of honeybees, but there are several other wild pollinators, including bumblebees and wild butterflies, that are vital to crops but are dwindling.

“Those native bees are really threatened much worse than honeybees because their culture is very localized,” he said. “Those are really essential to our world, and people don’t understand they’re even here.”

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September 26, 2016   Comments Off on Chicago’s Urban Beekeepers

The Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel – the world’s first luxury bee hotel

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(Must see video. Mike) The hotel itself is made from balsa wood and includes traditional hollow tubes in the bedrooms, which is a popular nesting choice for solitary bees. Other key features, such as sugar water baths and ultraviolet patterns, have been included based on scientific research that suggests that bees are attracted to these, and will therefore be enticed to enter the bee hotel to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

We’ve just created the world’s poshest insect residence: a luxury bee hotel, in partnership with Kew Gardens!

By Taylors Tea of Harrogate since 1886

Excerpts;

Our teas need bees

Without these buzzy little flavour creators, life would be very bland. Research has found that animal pollination makes the tastiest fruit, and many of the ingredients in our wonderfully distinctive fruit and herbal teas – created with the help of the plant experts at Kew Gardens – need bees simply to survive. or Click on the packs to see for yourself.

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July 13, 2016   Comments Off on The Grand ‘Beedapest’ Hotel – the world’s first luxury bee hotel

UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

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‘I keep bees in the grounds of St John’s church in Waterloo.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

Carole Wright is an urban beekeeper and gardener in south London

By Jim Cable
The Guardian
June 25, 2016

Excerpt:

I moved to the South Bank after living in a hostel for two and a half years and being essentially homeless. Within two weeks I came across a community garden off Library Street. My grandparents used to live overlooking the space but I didn’t recall a garden, so I went in. “Why have you got all these raised beds, a couple of ponds and a lovely greenhouse next to these ramshackle pre-fabs? What’s that all about?” That’s how my involvement with Bankside Open Spaces Trust began. I started by volunteering; I became a trustee and after about a year I got a job as a community gardener running after-school clubs and Saturday gardening based on food-growing.

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June 29, 2016   Comments Off on UK: ‘We had six weeks to turn a dog toilet into a community garden’

Canadian Urban beekeeping takes off as plight of the honeybee wins public attention

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Alexandre McLean, CEO of Alveole, prepares the Shangri-La Hotel’s “B-Wall” installation in Toronto. The company has seen an increase in demand for urban beehives in recent years. Peter J. Thompson/National Post.

“Bees are getting a ton of attention in the past few years. Even the White House announced it was going through major changes in policy in terms of planting; and General Mills’ Bring Back the Bees Campaign has drawn way more attention.”

By Denise Deveau
Financial Poat
Jun. 2, 2016

Excerpt:

A sure sign of spring at Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel is the arrival of Alexandre McLean. But he’s not your average guest; and his luggage is definitely out of the ordinary.

For a second season, McLean is installing the honeybees in the “B-Wall” at the Shangri-La’s third-floor Bosk terrace. The custom-designed wall, a collaborative effort by Alvéole and Montreal-based L’Atelier Gris and developed in partnership with Maison Birks, sits in a quiet corner of the garden, where throughout spring and summer, diners can step up to a porthole to view the honeybees in action.

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June 7, 2016   Comments Off on Canadian Urban beekeeping takes off as plight of the honeybee wins public attention

Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

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perdyEntomologist Christian Krupke at the Purdue Bee Laboratory with pollen collected by Indiana honeybees. (Purdue Agriculture photo/Tom Campbell)

Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

By Keith Robinson
Purdue University
May 31, 2016

Excerpts:

“Although crop pollen was only a minor part of what they collected, bees in our study were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected,” said Krupke. “The sheer numbers of pesticides we found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

Long, now an assistant professor of entomology at The Ohio State University, said she was also “surprised and concerned” by the diversity of pesticides found in pollen.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

London, Ontario beekeepers forced to remove backyard hive

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efBecky Ellis has to relocate her backyard beehive by May 28 after the province ordered their removal.

Complaint-driven laws preventing urban bees rarely enforced, say backyard beekeepers

CBC News
May 24, 2016

Excerpt:

Becky Ellis launched an online petition last week, calling on Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal to change Ontario laws that prevent beehives within 30 metres of any property line.

Ellis and fellow beekeeper Sean Kaiser were ordered by the ministry to remove their hive from their backyard in the London suburban neighbourhood of Byron.

As a student of urban agriculture, Ellis is part of a growing movement of Canadians keeping backyard, small-scale beehives. Though most of them operate in secret, Ellis has always been open about her hives.

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May 29, 2016   Comments Off on London, Ontario beekeepers forced to remove backyard hive

Newsweek: City Bees Feed On Flowers, Not Junk Food

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bbeUrban bees feed entirely on flowers when given the chance and eschew human food. Photo Lauren Nichols.

“There’s no evidence that bee colonies were feeding on human food at all,” Penick says.

By Douglas Main
Newsweek
5/19/16

Excerpt:

In the paper, published May 17 in the Journal of Urban Ecology, the scientists looked at the molecular structure of honey produced by the bees. Honey produced from flowering plants has a specific isotope, or form, of carbon. Honey made from sugary human food, ultimately derived from grasses like sugarcane and corn, however, has a different isotope. Using this distinguishing feature, the researchers were able to confirm that honey produced by rural and urban feral bees came from natural flowering plants and not human-obtained sugars.

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May 25, 2016   Comments Off on Newsweek: City Bees Feed On Flowers, Not Junk Food

Beekeeping all the buzz in Regina, Saskatchewan

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regvSee video news story.

Unlike chickens or other livestock, there aren’t any bylaws regulating beekeeping in Regina’s city limits.

By Jamie Fischer
CTV News
Mat 4, 2016

Excerpt:

Walking by Yens Pederson’s yard, it’s easy to miss the approximately 8,000 bees that call it home.

His hive is small and inconspicuous. Last year it produced more than 60 pounds of honey.

“It’s just been really exploding the number of people interested in beekeeping in the last few years,” Pederson, president of the Regina Bee Club, said.

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May 11, 2016   Comments Off on Beekeeping all the buzz in Regina, Saskatchewan

Bees buzzing in many Korean cities

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Min Dong-seok (R), secretary-general of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, and Park Jin, head of the Urban Bees Seoul, show hives during a ceremony to harvest honey on the rooftop of the commission’s building in downtown Seoul.

According to the Seoul city government, the nation’s capital now has 300 beehives in 27 places, up from 186 hives in 21 areas last year.

By Hwang Seok-joo
YoonHop News
March 26, 2016

Excerpt:

However, Park Jin, the head of Urban Bees Seoul (UBS), an urban beekeeping cooperative in Seoul, refutes that bees rarely attack people unless they are provoked.

“People have a tendency to vaguely assume that honey bees are dangerous and to worry that honey collected in cities might be polluted,” Park said.

An earlier probe by the Seoul-based Institute of Health and Environment found no heavy metals like lead and cadmium in honey produced even in heavily-crowded Myeongdong in downtown Seoul, he said.

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March 31, 2016   Comments Off on Bees buzzing in many Korean cities

Victory Gardens for Bees: A DIY Guide to Saving the Bees

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Forthcoming April 30, 2016

By Lori Weidenhammer
Douglas & McIntyre
April 30, 2016
240 pages

Who knew modern civilization may be brought down, not by plagues or war, but by bees? Or, more correctly, by no bees? This book investigates the growing problem of bee mortality and offers practical measures we can all take to help. In ecological terms, bees play a critical role in the survival of many plant communities and the continuation of life on this planet. No pollination, no seeds. No seeds, no future.

Now that bees are facing unprecedented levels of die-off caused by a toxic mixture of environmental stresses, a community-based effort is needed to make gardens, fields and landscapes healthy sanctuaries for bees. Just as citizens banded together to produce Victory Gardens to offset the perilous food shortages of World Wars I and II, now a similarly vital level of collective effort is needed to make our gardens into lifesaving shelters for these essential creatures.

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March 21, 2016   Comments Off on Victory Gardens for Bees: A DIY Guide to Saving the Bees

Targeting cities as refuge areas for pollinators

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Dr. Rebecca Tonietto searching for bees in the prairie at the Chicago Botanic Garden (photo credit: Robin Carlson).

To provide nesting habitat, don’t put mulch everywhere and leave some fallen limbs or cut logs out in the yard.

By Tim Ward
Huffington Post
Feb 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Question 3: Why target shrinking cities as refuge areas for pollinators?

Answer: It may be surprising, but studies from cities around the world report high levels of bee diversity and abundance, even including some rare specialized bees. Naturally patchy habitat is the norm in meadows and prairies and the urban mosaic isn’t necessarily all that different. Imagine walking down a residential urban block in the summertime. There are clusters of brightly colored flowers blooming here and there, in window boxes and pots on stoops, in the landscaping between the road and sidewalk, the dandelions and clover dotting the park lawn. All of that may just look pretty to us, but it’s a buffet for bees.

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February 23, 2016   Comments Off on Targeting cities as refuge areas for pollinators

Vancouver, BC – Pollinators and People in the City

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This event is an evening of discussion offering tools for creating relationships of dignity and respect for all people, and creating diverse habitats and forage for all pollinators.

Hosted by Hives for Humanity and SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement

Presentations From:

Mark Winston – Professor and Senior Fellow, SFU Centre for Dialogue, and Author Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, winner of the 2015 Govenor-General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. Mark is will be facilitating the evening’s presentations and reading from his book!

Elizabeth Elle – Professor of Biological Sciences, SFU, and wild bee expert. Elizabeth will be showcasing the wild bees that live in our city, and ways we can work to support their health.

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February 18, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC – Pollinators and People in the City

Building a Beehive for $60 in materials

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beh

The directions below detail construction of the hive’s base and inner and outer covers, plus five supers for collecting honey

By Cam Pauli
Modern Farmer
January 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Take advantage of winter downtime and start your beekeeping venture now, before the pollinators become available for delivery in early spring. Assuming you possess basic carpentry skills—and the tools that typically accompany them—this weekend project will set you back about $60 in materials (compared with $125 to $150 for a store-bought beehive).

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January 29, 2016   Comments Off on Building a Beehive for $60 in materials

Hives for Humanity: The Bee Space in Vancouver, BC

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Hives For Humanity from Nick Quenville on Vimeo.

“I love the gardens, they keep me busy, keep me outta trouble, outta jail. It used to be “Hey Doc, where’ve you been?” – “Jail” – Now it’s been years since I was in. Used to be every year. I love the flowers. And the honey. I love to water the plants. And the bees are alright!” – Doc

Sarah / Julia /
Cassie Hives for Humanity
Funding proposal

Hives for Humanity is a non-profit organization, creating meaningful change for pollinators and for people in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, and beyond. We started with the very simple idea that in helping the bees we could help each other. Since then we’ve been working to connect people to nature, to each other, and to themselves.

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November 30, 2015   Comments Off on Hives for Humanity: The Bee Space in Vancouver, BC