Parlando: The COC Blog


All A-Buzz

The honeybees have landed! It's a big day for us here at the Canadian Opera Company and the media were present as we welcomed several thousand new residents on the roof of our opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Here's some background:

Over the past few years you may have heard about the alarming decline in bee populations in North America. There are many theories as to why, but possibly Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is at the heart of it. Approximately one third of all food products come from plants which require pollination by honeybees, from apples to almonds, onions to zucchini. Without bees these crops are in trouble!

When beekeeper Fred Davis approached the COC about placing hives on the roof of our opera house, we were most intrigued! Fred explained what a perfect spot it was for urban bees, being so close to the flowering plants at City Hall, Osgoode Hall and the University Avenue median. Even the Toronto Islands fall within the 5km radius of the bees flight paths.  With the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative Fred has worked with bee hives at the Brickworks and the Royal York Hotel (which has six hives on its roof). Two of Fred's own hives live at Casa Loma.

Our honeybees will help diversify the types of species of pollinators and plants that currently live in the area, and we feel it's another way to be a - literally - vital part of our community.

For now there are just two bee hives on the roof of the Four Seasons Centre and they were installed on April 25. The hives are not accessible, but they are visible from the glass door on the north side of the Isadore and Rosalie Sharpe City Room on Ring 4 which looks out to the roof top.

We hope everyone is as excited about this new adventure as we are. Bees are vital to the planet and we'd like to help them. In future posts we'll show the arrival of the honeybees and share some amazing facts about these remarkable little creatures.

Please come back and visit as we'll be keeping this blog updated with fascinating bee facts and - most importantly - updates on our bees!


Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in FSCPA Honeybees / comments (1) / permalink

Linda Graham (6/23/2013 2:27:00 AM)
Today, while at the ballet, I purchased a jar of honey. I asked if there were an information card that I could include with the honey as a gift, because I think it is interesting that, as I heard at one time, Mr. Neef had seen opera rooftop hives in Europe, and wanted to do the same here. I was told that I could find the info on the website. I eventually found the blog, but would have liked more specific info about the honey I purchased, and a brief account of the history. Evan, behind the counter tried to be helpful and mentioned about different colours in the honey from different flower-gathering sources. Thanks.

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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