Honeybee Village and Learning About Mason Bees

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Bees!! We have been talking about getting ourselves into the Bee Business by purchasing a hive and setting up a colony of honeybees. It may not be in the cards for this season, but I am none-the-less searching out bee keeping classes nearby. While in the city working last week it was brought to my attention that the PHS operates several colonies along the Hastings Corridor, and they are offering free drop in beekeeping classes through the Drug User’s Resource Centre! I dropped by for the Thursday class but sadly no one else did so the class didn’t happen. The next time we are in the city J and I will try again though. The Hastings Urban Farm is a great PHS run initiative, I worked there briefly one summer, they provide employment opportunities for local residents and sell the produce they grow at a little stand in front of the farm on Hastings Street. They host honeybees and mason bees at this site, as well as at the Folk Garden, also PHS run, a short walk down Hastings. The workshops in these locations are run by Hives for Humanity – please check out their website, they are up to some amazing projects in the DTES! They sell their locally produced honey at The Window and Homesteaders Emporium (both of which I have blogged about before), as well as beeswax candles and other bee-related goodies. You can also check out the Pollinator Corridor Project site to learn more about becoming a part of their community of pollinators in the DTES.

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Homesteaders Emporium also hosts beekeeping classes, my Mom’s partner is taking one now, and they look really fun and informative. Honeybees are definitely on the “long to-do list”, but one thing we are able to do in the short term is learn about and begin hosting mason bees! The Wild Rose Garden Centre is hosting a free class this weekend where we will learn about mason bees and are able to purchase bees to take home. Mason bees sound pretty great as well, they pollinate but don’t produce honey. They also don’t sting which is great haha. Mason bee houses can be made on a very small budget and require southern exposure (which we have lots of!), so this is the route we will go for the time being. I grabbed a few packs of “bee blend” wildflower seeds so they have something to explore, and have been obsessively scrolling through the bee houses on Beediverse. When we bring the bees home I’ll post an update! โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

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In the meantime look at these amazing hives we found while driving around the island – it’s like a honeybee village! I don’t know who they belong to, but they looked very busy.

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