When my pal Jolene invited me to attend an ABC Bees Home2Hive bee tour with her I said yes right away. I love learning about how things are made, especially if they’re pretty much in my own backyard and who doesn’t love honey!?
Bee Fact: There are three kinds of bees in a hive: Queen, Worker and Drone.
ABC Bees is an organization dedicated to bringing small scale apiculture to urban spaces in Alberta, Canada. They offer outstanding educational experiences to inform and inspire acts of pollinator stewardship, hands-on beekeeping opportunities for the public as well as building partnerships that will last within the corporate community. Through these partnerships ABC Bees holds over 50 colonies!
Bee Fact: The bees use their honeycomb cells to raise their babies in, and to store nectar, honey, pollen and water.
Our tour started on bikes. We met our guides in downtown Calgary, where they revealed to us which one of their partners we would be visiting. That day we would be biking to Rouge Restaurant in Inglewood. The hives are located in their large garden, adjacent to the restaurant where they grow some of the food used in their kitchens!
Even though I don’t have a fear of bees and have only been stung once (knock on wood) there was a teeny tiny part of me that hoped I wouldn’t freak out. I shouldn’t have worried. After our leisurely bike ride we all donned hooded white jackets. At no time did I feel nervous. Our guides were very experienced, knowledgable and with us the entire time.
Bee Fact: A colony of honey bees in summer has 50-60,000 bees.
It was quite the learning experience! We got to get up close and personal with the bees. Our guides were full of facts and we were able to get all our questions answered. Jolene even had a chance to lift out a frame full of bees and we got a small tasty sample straight from the honeycombs
Bee Fact: The average life of a honey bee during the working season is about six weeks.
After our hive inspection we removed our jackets and relaxed on a bee-tastic picnic blanket to enjoy a charcuterie board courtesy of Rouge Restaurant and some delicious locally made mead. It was a great way to cap off the evening and we got to know a little more about our guides. Pedalling away we couldn’t stop talking about what an enjoyable evening we had.
More bee facts at honeycouncil.ca
Learning more about how your food is made gives you a better appreciation for the process. Honey bees are hard workers! If you want to experience a Home2Hive bee tour for yourself sign up today. There are only 2 tours left for this summer!