Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life today announced the installation of beehives on the rooftops of their offices in Winnipeg, London and Toronto. The hives will produce sustainable honey and help boost declining honey bee populations, which are important pollinators for local greenspaces and food production.
“We believe it’s important that our offices integrate with their natural environment and support the overall health and well-being of the local community,” said Stefan Kristjanson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Great-West Life. “With honey bee populations being threatened across Canada, our urban beekeeping initiative will help ensure these vital pollinators can flourish, keeping our communities vibrant and green.”
The company has teamed up with local beekeeping firms to install and maintain the hives. Alvéole is caring for two hives installed at 330 University Avenue in Toronto, while Beeproject Apiaries is managing two hives at 60 Osborne Street North in Winnipeg. The company’s London offices will be installing their hives later this year.
“We are excited to be working with Great-West Life to help promote and protect the bees,” said Lindsay Nikkel, Co-Owner and Urban Beekeeper, Beeproject Apiaries. “The honey bees installed at Great-West Life will pollinate local gardens and fruit trees, produce honey and engage the community in important environmental discussions.”
According to Beeproject Apiaries, honey bees typically forage for nectar within a 2-mile radius of their hive, which helps pollinate local ecosystems and many of the fruits and vegetables that end up on our kitchen tables. Beeproject Apiaries estimates that nearly one-third of our food is dependent on pollinators like the honey bee.
“The hives at the Canada Life building have affected the way the company thinks about bees, farming and the plight of pollinators,” said Blake Retter, Bee Director, Alvéole Toronto. “Together, we’re not only producing local honey, but also inspiring people to become ambassadors for a bee-friendly environment.”
Each hive installation contains as many as 50,000 honey bees and will produce up to 25 kilograms of honey. The honey will be harvested annually and bottled in accordance with food regulations.