While Edmonton has many attractions and festivals it’s known around the world for, bees are probably not something that would top that list.
Well, in bee circles at least, that is changing. The Shaw Conference Centre added a bee farm in the summer and it recently caught the eye of a Japanese TV show produced by a bee farm in that country.
“They have a production team that travels around the world talking to beekeepers, tasting honey, looking at bees,” beekeeper Patty Milligan said. “They take tons of footage, bring it back and they have these short segments that they feature on television.”
Urban bees are becoming more popular, but urban farms are still few and far between. There are farms in Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, New York, Bombay and Hong Kong to name a few, but it’s still a new concept that piqued the interest of the television show.
“They thought the idea of keeping bees and raising them in downtown Edmonton was intriguing, and I think the idea of this honey being really unique because the bees are foraging in the city is attractive,” Milligan said.
Urban bees are unique because they get their nectar from different sources than their rural counterparts according to Milligan.
Shaw Conference Centre is the only place in Edmonton that keeps bees. On top of people who have them in their backyards, there are bees at the Hotel McDonald, MacEwan University and Northlands. (kb/bd)