| Environmental Columns

Beehives in Pointe-Claire: Let’s help our bees produce delicious honey!

The beehives installed last year on the rooftop of the Pointe-Claire Central Library, located at 100 Douglas-Shand Avenue, produce honey which you can taste at events organized by the City, including the inauguration of the bee educational garden on September 15.

The success of the first two beehives installed in 2017 encouraged the City to add two more last May, which will help increase the presence of bees in Pointe-Claire, their benefits, and… honey production.

The bees come from a bee farm in Outremont. The queens are from California and are known for their long lifespan. Over time, they will be replaced with queens from Quebec, which are more resistant to the cold and become active earlier in the spring.

The bees produced honey last fall and are expected to produce even more this year. We can help them with their natural production by creating gardens that increase the presence of pollen through a wide variety of plants and flowers with different blooming periods.

The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an extremely important pollinator. Nearly 80% of flowering plants depend on pollination in order to produce fruits and seeds. Honeybees, wasps, bumblebees, butterflies, and other pollinators carry pollen from one flower to another, thereby helping to fertilize flowers. When bees feed on nectar and gather pollen from flower to flower, pollen sticks to their bodies and is spread to other flowers, which will then form fruits and seeds.

It is vital that we help pollinators, since they maintain plant diversity and ensure food security. They also increase the production and quality of food that is rich in micronutrients, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds. Unfortunately, the populations of many native pollinators are declining as they are threatened by habitat loss, disease, climate change, and pesticide use.