Canada's Condominium Magazine
A new line of honey has come to Toronto from a surprising source… a local real estate company. Allied Properties, which owns numerous properties in the King West area, recently began producing honey on the rooftops of three of its buildings.
Montreal-based Alvéole provides Allied Properties with beekeeping kits and educates them on proper care and handling of hives. These hives are intended to transform urban spaces into ones that foster and sustain the natural environment. Approximately 50,000 honeybees claim the King West properties as their home.
Blake Retter, who managed Alvéole’s Toronto colonization, expressed excitement for the expansion into Toronto. “The city is a great place for bees to be,” he said, noting that the pollinating bees were beneficial to Toronto gardens and green space. He also stated that Alvéole made an interesting discovery that honey from different neighbourhoods has different properties.
Allie Properties is not the only company to get in on the action either, and the door is wide open for other property managers and businesses to sign up for their own beehives. As a former teacher, Retter also has high hopes that the organization’s programs will eventually expand into schools. The more buildings and areas that support and raise bees, the better.
In addition to their usefulness in producing honey, bees are also good for the ecosystem. Due to their incredible work ethic, they benefit us and our environment more than most people realize. They pollinate approximately one-sixth of the world’s flowering plants and 400 different agricultural types of plant.
The 25,000 different bee species worldwide all have their own unique features and abilities, and they are all responsible for pollinating various crops and other plants. Foods that are available to us due to the work of bees include broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupes, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, apples, and more.
Hosting a hive is relatively easy, and it is a worthwhile addition to condominiums, businesses, and other high rises in the city. If you are interested in welcoming a beehive into your community, discuss this with the condo board and management. Buildings can sign up on Alvéole’s website.
The website describes the process in three steps, the first of which is installation. “Find the ideal location for the installation of your hive with advice from our team,” reads the website. Ideally, the hive(s) would be installed on the roof, away from residents and guests who might be allergic. “The very next day, your bees will be pollinating flowers in your neighbourhood!”
Alvéole conducts follow-up visits. “Select a service package adapted to your needs. During our visits, you will learn all the key steps to caring for your colony of bees.” The third and final step is harvesting. “Harvest all the honey produced by your bees. The honey from your hive is extracted separately so you can taste the subtleties of the flowers in your neighbourhood.”