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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Geoff Fitzgerald, Bee Photographer

Photographer Geoff Fitzgerald is chronicling the work of urban beekeepers, as they try to understand the issues behind CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). In this article in today's Metro, beekeeper Fred Davis is photographed on the roof of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts!

Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in Press, Bee Update / comments (0) / permalink


Keeping Cool with a Little Help from Their Friends

This has been a very hot summer, and - as you'll have read in the previous post - the honeybees have their own ways to keep themselves and their hives cool.

But they needed some extra help this year, as the roof of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is a very hot place.

Devoted members of the building services team got creative with a very long hose and a sprinkler. The areas around the hives were misted to help cool things down a bit.

The bees, approximately 100,000 of them, are busy producing honey. A big thank you to the wonderful members of the building services team!

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


Hot Times in the Hives

Beekeeper Fred Davis updates us on the honeybees that live on the roof the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts:

We are just about at the mid point of the nectar-gathering period for this year. The bees are playing catch up for the late and wet spring and most hives are very active. Of the seven hives there are three that are doing exceptionally well and are bringing in all kinds of honey. Their queens are doing a fine job of laying eggs. There are two hives that are struggling. We found the queens in both hives but they are not laying many eggs. Unless things change in the next week or two I will have to remove the poorer performing queens and combine hives.
There is a dearth period each summer when honey production slows down and I think we are in the midst of it right now. The bees will pick up production in the next week or so once more flowers bloom.
Hot Bees - I'm happy to see that they have found another source of water other than the little reservoir we placed on the roof which they had been using to drink from and cool themselves. On hot days it's not unusual to see the bees mass outside of the hive in order to keep the temperature cooler inside. There are a number of bees positioned at the entrances fanning their wings in order to create a breeze into the hive. I created a gap to increase ventilation in the hives by placing chopsticks and popsicle sticks in between the supers (hive boxes). This will let a little air escape and cool air enter the hive during these hot summer months.
I plan to harvest all the honey some time in late August. Last year we all remarked on the difference in flavour between the honey we harvested in July and then in September.  The first harvest seems to be the sweetest!

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

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Honey Nutritional Information

Read the nutritional guidelines for the FSC Honeybees Honey!