The River District Apiary provides a welcoming home for some very important neighbours. Aside from making delicious honey, the River District honey bees will support our local eco-system and help plants grow in our communities, gardens and public spaces.
Apiary Stats | 2020: A Year in Review
To stay up-to-date on the River District Apiary, including the 2021 honey harvest, be sure to follow River District on social.
The Apiary at River District was built by Wesgroup in 2019 to create a temporary home for honey bees, one of the world’s top pollinators. You'll see the Apiary nestled amongst nearby trees and visible from the walking paths just south of Town Centre. The bees collect nectar from blossoms and flowers throughout the neighbourhood and turn it into sweet natural honey.
On any sunny day, you may see Master Beekeeper Janet and the River District honey bees hard at work in the Apiary. Janet began her study and care of bees 12 years ago, a natural outgrowth of her lifelong interest in ecology and biodiversity. Her passion is supporting bee health, raising locally adapted queens, and educating a new generation of beekeepers. If you're in the area, stop by for a chat! Janet loves to talk about our friends, the bees.
You’ll find the Apiary just south of Town Centre, along River District Crossing, near the riverfront walking paths.
To stay up-to-date on the bees including the 2021 honey harvest, follow River District on social.
Are bees friendly?
Yes! Unlike wasps and hornets, honey bees are friendly and peaceful. Because they can only sting once (they die after stinging), they don’t want to sting you! Bees will only sting if they feel threatened (for example, if you squish them). They may buzz around you to investigate, but they won’t bother you for too long.
Wasps and hornets are more aggressive and can sting multiple times. They will hang around especially if you have food. Luckily, those are not the type of bees we have at our Apiary. Honey bees are only interested in getting food for the hive, in the form of nectar and pollen.
Can I come see the hives?
Right now, we’re practicing social distancing.
We plan to offer small group tours at the Apiary in the future, when it’s safe to do so.
How can I get my hands on some River District honey?
Honey jars are available at the Wesgroup Presentation Centre located at 3455 Sawmill Crescent (open Thursday - Monday, 11am to 4pm). Small jars (190 ml) are $9.45 inclusive of GST. Large jars (355ml) are $13.65 inclusive of GST.
How can I help the bees?
There are lots of easy ways to help support the honey bees in our community.
You can help by:
• Putting out shallow dishes filled with stones as bee watering stations
• Putting bee guards on hummingbird feeders, or use bee-proof feeders
• Avoiding use of garden chemicals
• Planting gardens and balcony pots with bee-friendly plants
What are some bee-friendly plants?
If you’re interested in planting your garden or leaving plants on your balcony, here are some plants to consider to help the bees get their nutrients, based on when plants are in full bloom.
• Scilla fruit trees
• Any species of geranium
• Flowering herbs
• Styrax trees
• Any species of Tilia
• Joe Pye weed
• Salvia plants
• Sweet clover (Melilotus)
• Bluebeard shrub (Caryopteris)
• Bee Bee tree
• Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
• Bluebeard shrub
• Late flowering herbs