U of T’s bees in the news

Remember our post about Bees on campus? Brian Hamlin’s bee hives were so successful last year, that he is expanding his project. A group of student volunteers (anybody is welcome to join) is setting up apiaries on campus, and some of the honey (and related products like beeswax candles) will be sold at the U of T Farmers’ Market!

Torontoist did an awesome write-up about bees in Toronto, and Brian Hamlin’s work. You can check it out here: TORONTO’S BLOOMING BUZZTROPOLIS.

If you want to see the video shot on a windy winter afternoon at the New College bee hives, click here for the original UeaT post.

If you would like to get in touch with the student volunteers, leave a comment here and we can email you the information.

Image courtesy of Torotoist.

Honey Bees on campus!!!


Here’s something  you didn’t know: U of T has bee hives on campus! We visited the hives on top of New College this week, and saw how the bees get ready for the winter. Brian Hamlin (bee keeper extraordinaire) let us sample the honey (and it was delicious!)…he also told us some fun facts about bees:

  • 90% of the bees in the hive are female. 10% of them are male, and the males are kicked out (or die) in the autumn.
  • All the work is done by the female bees. The male bees are simply around to fertilize the Queen.
  • Bees don’t normally sting, unless they feel threatened.
  • Bees are not scary. They’re quite nice actually.
  • New College cafeteria uses the honey from its roof top in its menu. Yumm!
  • Bees travel within a 3 mile radius to collect pollen for the honey. That means that the honey made and used at New College is from flowers at Queen’s Park and other green spaces in the area!
  • Contrary to popular opinion, bears don’t love honey, they love bee larvae (rich source of protein).
  • In Canada, the winter months are dormant for bees. In late winter, the Queen begins laying eggs, and they bees starting working inside the hive. During the summer months, they go out to collect pollen and produce honey.
  • Honey has antioxidant and antibiotic properties.

In future months, we will pay a visit to the other hives on campus. If you know of a hive we haven’t visited yet, do let us know!