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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The Day the Bees Moved in

On April 25 the COC honeybees made the journey from Guelph to Toronto with beekeeper Fred Davis. On arrival Fred invited us to sniff the interior of his car, which had the most wonderful aroma of warm, honeyish beeswax.

The interior of Fred's car:

Waiting by the principal dressing-rooms to take the elevator to Ring 4:

The two starter hives were surprisingly small, but Fred explained that the tall beehives we are used to seeing are ones that have been grown over time. As the population of bees increases, so extra levels are added to the hive to let the population spread out. Extra levels are added only as needed to ensure the bees can keep the temperature of the hive consistent, between 92 and 93° F.

When the hives were first put in place, each one contained one queen bee and 5,000 worker bees and drones. The queen lays upwards of 1,200 eggs per day, most of which survive. At full capacity, each hive will house up to 60,000 bees.

Once on the roof of the opera house, the bees were gently placed on pallets.

A small bucket of water was placed nearby, with a mound of little rocks so that the bees could perch there to drink.

Fred opened a small hole in each hive and a few bees slowly emerged to check out their new home. He explained how very different an environment this was for them and they'd take a few days to feel comfortable enough to roam further.


Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in Moving In / comments (2) / permalink

Andréa Jarmai & David Newel (5/21/2010 2:00:30 AM)
We are absolutely thrilled to have honeybees living just around the corner from us, and congratulate the COC on your perspicacity in establishing the bees on the roof. With this wonderful new development we are more than ever happy and proud to be both Friends of the COC as well as COC Volunteers! Well done!
Gianna Wichelow (5/21/2010 2:50:33 PM)
Thank you both - I think this makes you Friends of the COC Honeybees too!


Honey Nutritional Information

Read the nutritional guidelines for the FSC Honeybees Honey!