Honeybees at the COC

 

The Canadian Opera Company is delighted to be part of the ever-growing support of honeybees, Currently we host seven hives onthe roof of our opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Follow the honeybees' progress on Parlando, with visits and posts from beekeeper Fred Davis!

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11/9/2012

Update on the Bees (Sort of like an episode of The Tudors)

Beekeeper Fred Davis updates us on the honeybees that live on the roof the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. located at 145 Queen St. W., here in Toronto:

Another beekeeping season has passed and I am putting final touches on the hives by feeding them in preparation for what is forecasted to be a long, hard winter. Each hive should have about 140 lbs of food stored and available for the smaller "staff" overwintering with the queen. All the boys (AKA drones) have been kicked out and now the girls rule the roost. The queen will lay eggs that will hatch to be males again when things start to warm up next spring. They need boys to fertilize the next virgin successor to the throne. But I try to stop natural succession to the extent I can, and try to control the genetics in the hive itself.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that our honeybees come out healthy and happy when I unwrap their hives next Spring.

Thanks, Fred! Stay warm, bees!

Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in Update from Fred / comments (0) / permalink

9/6/2012

Our Honeybees are Tough!

Beekeeper Fred Davis updates us on the honeybees that live on the roof the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. located at 145 Queen St. W., here in Toronto:

It's been a long, tough summer for all the honeybees in Ontario. I've been reading quite a bit and speaking with a number of beekeepers and the indications are that the extreme heat and humidity really played havoc with the flowers and the amount of nectar they were able to produce. As a result there was very little food to gather and produce into honey. Much of the honey that was produced stayed in the brood chambers for food for the existing bees. Very little was produced in the honey supers. Many beekeepers are reporting a reduction of 40 percent in honey production. Unfortunately the bees at the Four Seasons Centre also had a tough time and, as a result, there wasn't much honey produced this year.

My focus now is to ensure that the honeybees are well fed for the winter and medicated as required. All the hives appear to be quite healthy which is very encouraging after such a tough summer. The Four Seasons Centre staff were very helpful and they provided water to the overheated bees throughout the summer!


Thanks, Fred!

Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in Update from Fred / comments (2) / permalink

6/27/2012

Queens on Queen

Beekeeper Fred Davis updates us on the honeybees that live on the roof the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. located at 145 Queen St. W., here in Toronto:

We installed five new queens just over two weeks ago and, based on what we see, they have all been accepted by the hives. Plus I created a new hive by moving some queen cells to a distant location on the rooftop. Remember each hive has only one queen so I removed the under-performing queens before I introduced the new queens. We now have healthier hives with new queens rearing more brood!

Thanks, Fred!

Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in Update from Fred / comments (4) / permalink

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