Honeybees flourish at Port of Hamilton

Thursday, July 25

Hamilton, ON – Just over one year after setting up 12 hive boxes near Sherman Inlet in June of 2018, the partnership between the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) and local beekeeping company, Humble Bee, continues to thrive. Humble Bee founders Luc and Dan are thrilled with the success of their queendoms living at the port lands, and have now been able to add an additional 10 hive boxes to the location at Sherman Inlet.

With its proximity to the waterfront, surrounding trees and the addition of pollinator gardens, this Pier 15 location has proven to be an ideal breeding ground. The hives were wrapped up by the team over the winter (when the bees go dormant) but were monitored by Luc and Dan throughout the season. Each of these hive boxes have roughly 1500 bees per box, which means there are now approximately 33,000 honeybees working away at the port! Honeybees are the work horses of their species, and vitally important to pollinating large crops. This gives a whole new meaning to Hamilton’s #workingwaterfront and the eco-industrial activity taking place at the port.

HOPA, Environment Hamilton and the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club also set up pollinator gardens on adjacent port properties last year as part of Pollinator Project Paradise. These gardens create a corridor of native plants that provide food and shelter for pollinators as they travel across the port lands. In future, this may expand to the addition of specific tree species, like cherry trees famous for their beautiful cherry blossoms, that aid in the pollination cycle.

Why are bees so important and why do we need to maintain healthy bee populations? Bees are crucial to sustainable food production and the overall health of the environment. Without them many of the foods we enjoy (fruits and vegetables especially) would become increasingly expensive and difficult to grow. As owner Luc puts it, “Bees are the canary in the coal mine for the environment. They are known as one of the most important species on the planet, and inextricably linked to human quality of life.”

HOPA’s partnership with Humble Bee supports its goal of incorporating sustainable growth and diversity into port real estate. “The queens we breed at Sherman Inlet end up supporting beekeepers across the country and help provide essential pollination services for food production,” said Luc. Humble Bee is also always looking for other businesses to partner with and space to set up other hives.

Look out for future expansion as this partnership continues to flourish!

About Humble Bee
A full-service beekeeping company, Humble Bee follows a philosophy of putting the needs of the bees first and managing colonies without the use of antibiotics or synthetic miticides. They produce local honey and hive products, equipment and queen bees for sale. Humble Bee also works to educate the public on beekeeping through courses they provide and partnerships with organizations.