PortsToronto’s Bees Wrap Up Another Buzz-y Season

The PortsToronto bees are wrapping up another great season harvesting honey in the harbour! This week, more than 40 kg of honey made by 200,000 hardworking bees was harvested from the hives as the summer comes to a close.
In summer 2016, PortsToronto worked with Alvéole to install urban hives to support the local bee population. Habitat loss, pesticide use and new diseases are taking their toll on the pollinators who play an integral role in the food chain.
Since 2007, up to 35 per cent of Ontario’s bee colonies have died annually – a significant increase compared to 10 per cent prior to this time. It may come as a surprise to some that cities provide a thriving environment for bees as there are strict anti-pesticide laws, ample untapped floral diversity and largely unused rooftop space. The benefits of urban beekeeping include local honey and garden pollination throughout the city.
With the harvest complete, preparations have begun for the winter months as the beekeepers ensure the bees have enough food to last until next season and the hives are wrapped up for insulation against the harsh winter elements. While bees don’t hibernate, they will keep busy this winter by clustering around their queen and warming her area of the hive to 35 degrees by using their wing muscles to generate heat.

See more great photos of the PortsToronto bees at work here.