The honey bees have officially landed in Edmonton and a few local businesses have offered up their rooftops for the bees.
Two honey bee hives, housing just over 20,000 bees in each, are currently hard at work atop Freson Bros. in southwest Edmonton.
The beekeepers are hoping each hive will produce around 50 pounds of honey by the end of the season.
Honey production is very abundant, said Laura Duff, health and wellness specialist for Freson Bros.
“We want to bring the same kind of notoriety and fame to Alberta honey as Alberta beef has.”
Since this is the first year housing bees on the roof of Freson Bros., the business couldn’t do it alone. It called in some professionals, partnering up with local beekeeper Good Morning Honey.
With over 30,000 hives — and the fact that Freson Bros. was already selling its products — it seemed like the perfect fit.
“This is my first experience of urban beekeeping,” said Richard Ozero, president and co-owner of Good Morning Honey.
“It’s just new for me too and it’s pretty exciting.”
Why is it important to have a professional working alongside rookie beekeepers? Experience and knowledge of the bees, Ozero said.
“Your goal as a beekeeper is to get the population of your hive to the maximum population when the peak honey flow is happening.
“That starts happening in the next week or so, when we start to see the canola in full bloom and the clover in full bloom,” he explained.
Hosting bees on the roof is much more popular than one would think.
Boonie Doon Shopping Centre has added two hives to its roof. The shopping centre is hoping to engage the community not only with the bees but with other programs as well.
“We are planning to have workshops and also we have signage across our mall that QR codes. You can scan those codes and follow along to the progress of the bees and other fun facts,” said Nivedita Kunjar, marketing director at Bonnie Doon.
“The bees that we have on our roof are an Italian species.
“They are extremely calm and hence they are excellent for open beekeeping and are very educational too.”
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