Port Lands Home to New Honeybee ‘Queendoms’

HAMILTON – June 7, 2018 – Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) has partnered with urban beekeeping company Humble Bee, providing space to install 12 hive boxes at a new bee yard adjacent to Sherman Inlet on the port’s Pier 15.

Each of the 12 boxes at the Sherman Inlet bee yard will be divided into three miniature colonies with approximately 500 bees in each ‘mini-hive’. The site will be used as a breeding location for queen bees due to its proximity to the waterfront. The waterfront location and the distance from other beekeeping activity allows for a more isolated breeding ground with greater control and quicker results.

The new bee yard is a compliment to the Port Authority’s first pollinator garden, also located at Pier 15. Planted last year in partnership with the Pollinator Paradise Project, the garden is part of HPA’s goal to create a corridor of native plantings that provide food and shelter for pollinators like butterflies and bees as they travel across the port lands.

“The port lands are uniquely suited to contribute to a pollinator corridor in north Hamilton, because of the ability to create native planting nodes across the port’s 630 acres,” explained HPA’s Community Relations Manager, Sharon Clark. “And as it turns out, the port lands also offer ideal conditions for honeybee breeding, and the establishment of new ‘queendoms’, as we’ve been calling them.”

“We’re so pleased to partner with Humble Bee on this initiative. They are a dynamic local organization, with a wealth of information to share with our staff, our tenants, and our neighbours,” said Sharon Clark.

The bee hives will be managed on a two week cycle. Beekeepers from Humble Bee will first visit to catch the queens that have been raised, and then visit again to install new queen cells. As the season comes to a close in November, the hives will be wrapped up for winter until beekeeping activity resumes in the spring.

“The queens end up supporting beekeepers across the province and help provide essential pollination services for food production,” said Luc Peters of Humble Bee.

About Humble Bee

Humble Bee follows a philosophy of putting the needs of the bees first and managing colonies without the use of antibiotics or synthetic miticides. They produce local honey and hive products, equipment and queen bees for sale. Humble Bee also works to educate the public on beekeeping through courses they provide and partnerships with organizations. http://humblebee.buzz/

Don’t bee afraid!

It is important to remember that honeybees are vegetarian and get all their food from the nectar and pollen of flowers, not from liquid or dry sugars. They are non-aggressive due to the fact that they can only sting once and only sting when they feel that their own life or their colony is threatened.

Once the hives are installed the bees will be more or less invisible. Unless in the immediate area of the colonies the only thing that will be noticed is more honeybees on the flowers!

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Media Contact:

Larissa Fenn, Hamilton Port Authority
905.525.4330 ext. 235
lfenn@hamiltonport.ca

 

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