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Category — Bees

London, Ontario beekeepers forced to remove backyard hive

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects


Flowering broadleaf species are a must when selecting cover crops for pollinators. Grass cover crops do not provide nectar and their pollen typically has lower protein content than the pollen of broadleaf plants, thus making them only marginally attractive to bees.

This bulletin was co-written by Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation staff members Eric Lee-Mader, Anne Stine, Jarrod Fowler, Jennifer Hopwood and Mace Vaughan, with contributions from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
SARE – 16 pages
Nov. 2015

Flowering cover crops can fulfill their original purpose as a conservation practice while at the same time providing valuable forage for wild bees and beneficial insects. This added benefit can be significantly enhanced with some fine-tuning of management practices and thoughtful plant selection.

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November 28, 2015   Comments Off on Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

Infographic: 10 Interesting Honey Bee Facts You Never Knew


By Reagan Musyoka
Boggling Facts
Nov 11, 2015


Bees must visit 2 million flowers to make 1 lb. of honey, meaning one hive of bees will fly over 55,000 miles to produce it. On average one hive can produce up to 100 lbs of honey each year.

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November 12, 2015   Comments Off on Infographic: 10 Interesting Honey Bee Facts You Never Knew

Cornell researcher proves pollination can be honeybee free

Research and fieldwork is proving wild bees can play a critical role in saving growers money, easing pressure on vulnerable honeybee hives, increasing sustainability and, most importantly, enhancing food security

By John Carberry
Cornell Chronicle
Oct 30, 2015


That idea took flight during a walk through the Ithaca orchards in May 2014. Danforth and farm manager Eric Shatt were checking bee activity when, in addition to the honeybees from six rented hives, they noticed countless wild bees elbowing in for a meal – from mud-building mason bees and honeybee lookalike Colletes inaequalis to solitary carpenter bees and social halictids. They also spotted many species of Andrena, a mild-mannered ground nesting bee that “scrabbles” deep into flowers, a technique former Danforth Lab researcher Mia Park, M.S. ’06, Ph.D. ’14, demonstrated is four times more effective at pollinating than “side working” honeybees.

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November 4, 2015   Comments Off on Cornell researcher proves pollination can be honeybee free

Michigan State University’s Pollinator Initiative Project

Rebecca Masterman, associate director of the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad, with a “bee beard.” Image: Bee Squad.

“Pests and the diseases they are spreading are a big challenge,” Masterman said. Bee parasites like varroa mites are a global problem.

By Kelly Vanfrankenhuyzen
Great Lakes Echo
Oct 25, 2015


“One colony of bees cost $550 and $100 for equipment,” she said. The Bee Squad offers classes and a mentoring program. The classes are offered once a year for eight hours, but the limit is six people.

“It’s a manageable way to train people in basic beekeeping,” Masterman said.

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October 31, 2015   Comments Off on Michigan State University’s Pollinator Initiative Project

Enhancing gardens as habitats for flower-visiting aerial insects (pollinators): should we plant native or exotic species?


This experiment has shown that flowering garden plant assemblages can provide a resource for pollinators regardless of the plants’ origin and that the greater the resource available the more pollinators will visit.

By Andrew Salisbury, James Armitage1, Helen Bostock1, Joe Perry, Mark Tatchell and Ken Thompson
Journal of Applied Ecology
Aug 11, 2015



1. Domestic gardens typically consist of a mixture of native and non-native plants which support biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services, particularly in urban environments. Many gardeners wish to encourage biodiversity by choosing appropriate plant taxa. The value of native and non-native plants in supporting animal biodiversity is, however, largely unknown.

2. The relative value of native and non-native garden plants to invertebrates was investigated in a replicated field experiment. Plots (deliberately akin to garden borders) were planted with one of three treatments, representing assemblages of plants based on origin (native, near-native and exotic). Invertebrates and resource measurements were recorded over four years. This paper reports the abundance of flower-visiting aerial insects (‘pollinators’) associated with the three plant assemblages.

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August 18, 2015   Comments Off on Enhancing gardens as habitats for flower-visiting aerial insects (pollinators): should we plant native or exotic species?

Visit with a seasoned beekeeper in Victoria, BC


Entering the Secret Life of the Honey Bee

By Larraine Roulston
Green Mom
August 11, 2015


This summer I had a great opportunity to shadow my brother-in-law Bob while he tended his backyard bee hives. As a Examining a honeycomb mainseasoned beekeeper and member of the Capital Region Beekeepers’ Association in Victoria, BC, Bob has 11 hives, each containing rows of hanging combs, all buzzing with activity. Donning the bulky white suit, mask, hat, gloves and boots, I was then ready to view their amazing contribution to our ability to grow food.

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August 12, 2015   Comments Off on Visit with a seasoned beekeeper in Victoria, BC