New beehives at McCall Lake Golf Course
There’s something abuzz at McCall Lake Golf Course.
The popular City course is the new home for two beehives that were installed in June and will host 52,500 bees for the next three years.
After spending some time working with Parks Canada, beekeeper Sean Higgins has turned her passion for pollinators into a career and is managing hundreds of hives for Alvéole in both Calgary and Edmonton. Later this month, Sean and other keepers will be harvesting the honey from the City’s two hives. The harvest and treatment process will result in almost 30 kg. of honey - which works out to approximately 200 jars.
“Honeybees are so beloved for the benefits they bring us,” says beekeeper Sean Higgins.
“Hosting hives is a great way to encourage people to create more pollinator habitat, find alternatives to pesticide use and come together around the beautiful natural areas we have right here in our urban centre.”
In the fall, after the honey harvest, the bees will be fed and the hives winterized. They are fed sugar syrup with an additive of vitamins and minerals. This feeding process will keep the colonies strong throughout the cooler seasons. For winterizing, the bees are moved into one box that is wrapped in insulation and covered with a foam lid to keep the heat in. There is a small opening in the wrapping for air flow and for the bees to leave the hive when needed.
With the success of this current bee colony, the hope is that over time more hives will be put in place at other City of Calgary facilities.
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