Open Hive Days!
Peek inside the busy world of honeybees. The City is hosting Open Hive Days Friday, Aug. 1 and Saturday, Sept. 1 from 1 - 2 p.m. The beekeeper will be on site to answer your questions. Protective veils will be provided, but bring your own gear if you have it.
Date: Friday, Aug. 31 & Saturday, Sept. 1
Time: 1-2 p.m. (on both days)
Venue: 15 East Lake Hill (pond near the Waste & Recycling Depot)
For more information call 403.948.8800 ext. 8848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project for city owned lands
On May 22, 2018, City Council approved an Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project on city lands. As part of the Urban Agriculture initiative, the City of Airdrie asked for public input on urban beekeeping. Thank you to those who participated in the survey.
For the pilot project, The City is “borrowing” some honey bees from a local beekeeper. The pilot runs from June to September 2018 and offers the City an opportunity to raise awareness and educate residents about the benefits of urban beekeeping and how they can make their yards bee and pollinator friendly.
What do I do if I want to see the bees?
The beehive will be located at 15 East Lake in a fenced area. Please do not bother the bees or trespass into the enclosure. This will allow the bees to continue to do their work. We will be posting pictures of the bees and the beekeeper tending to the hive over the summer.
Why do bees matter?
- Some flowering plants that produce our food are pollinated by wind or water, but about 3/4 of all the flowering plants in the world rely on insect pollinators to reproduce. However, pollinators are declining for a number of reasons, including: habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.
- Because there are fewer pollinators, food producing plants are pollinated less. We need pollinators to pollinate our plants, including our vegetable plots, flower gardens and agricultural crops.
- Alberta is home to over 300 species of bees, most of which are solitary bees. Solitary bees are not aggressive, unlike other types of social bees that swarm and live in colonies. Solitary bees are also very efficient pollinators.
- Honey bees in an urban environment have a number of benefits to the community. Neighbourhood back yard gardens will produce more healthy food. As little as one hive can travel and benefit up to 6.5km or 4 miles away from their hives.
Facts about bees and the practice of urban beekeeping.
It is important to be able to tell the difference between the various types of bees and wasps. Bees are generally non-aggressive while wasps can be aggressive and many are considered predators. Unlike honey bees, which are usually fuzzy and only sting if disturbed, wasps are not fuzzy and can sting multiple times.
You don't need to bee a bee keeper to be bee friendly - here are some tips on ways you can help our bees.
- Plant pollinator friendly gardens. You can help boost the local bee population by planting native flowers and plants in your backyard. Besides providing food for bees, butterflies and insects, native plants are low maintenance, require little to no watering once established, are adapted to our climate and increase local biodiversity.
- Build a wild/native bee home. Providing our native bees with artificial nesting sites, like plant stem tunnels, or some bare ground is a good way to attract bees to your garden and increase the local population.
- Keep your garden pesticide free and buy pesticide free plants. Bees and other pollinators have to contend with toxins, pests and diseases in their surroundings, which impact their health and their ability to forage.
It is important to research first to understand if backyard beekeeping is right for you.
Here are some helpful links:
- The Calgary and District Beekeepers Association has many resources and information on beekeeping. They also have guidelines for safe urban beekeeping.
- Bee City Canada is a coalition of communities across Canada connected in the protection, promotion and celebration of pollinators, enjoying the benefits of health ecosystems.
- Alberta agriculture and forestry has information on beekeeping for beginners.
- All Beekeepers (hobby and commercial) are required to register annually with the Provincial Apiculturist and obtain a Premises Identification Number (PID). Learn more about this process by visiting Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website.
Planning and Sustainable Development