The Problem of the Bee Decline

Since the late 1990s, beekeepers around the world have observed the mysterious and sudden disappearance of bees, and report unusually high rates of decline and death of honeybee colonies.

Bees make more than honey – they are key to food production by pollinating our crops. Bumblebees, other solitary bees, and insects like butterflies, wasps, and flies all provide valuable pollination services. A third of the food that we eat depends on pollinating insects: vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, edible oils like canola, and many more are direct results of pollination. The bee decline affects mankind, our lives depend on theirs.

Why Bees at Beechwood?

Beechwood and Ontario cemeteries have been pesticide free environments, by law, since 2008. Beechwood’s vast landscape is an ideal location for urban beekeeping; 160 acres of pristine pesticide-free land; over 30 species and countless sub-species of trees and bushes; over 36,000 tulip and crocus bulbs bloom in spring; over 22,000 annual flowering seedlings are planted in early summer; an incalculable amount of native wild flowers, grasses, plants and perennials which include up to 210 varieties of Hostas. All this vegetation need pollination to reproduce and genetically bio-diversify perpetually as nature intends.

In Spring 2017 Beechwood implemented an environmentally friendly initiative; a Biotic Pollination Programme which consist the acquisition and installation of honeybee hives on cemetery property.

There are numerous isolated and remotely publicly accessible areas within Beechwood where beehives can be established without disturbance to daily operations or visitors. Studies have found that honeybees are healthier and produce more honey in urban settings, where fewer pesticides are sprayed and greater floral diversity exists. As such, there is a growing movement across North America to consciously include apiaries within city boundaries.

Hives located on Beechwood grounds are registered with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and inspected by the Provincial Apiarist inspectors as required by law, under the Province of Ontario Bees Act R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER B.6

Furthermore, Beechwood beehives are voluntarily participating in a provincial monitoring project to address bee health stressors at randomly selected beeyards across Ontario. If selected, OMAFRA Apiary inspectors would conduct bee health inspections, collect samples and information on Beechwood colonies management practices. Inspections and sample collection can occur several times throughout the year at the Ministry’s discretion.

For more information please contact:

Ben Bazinet—Apiarist Tel: 613-741-9530 ex 118

Beechwood, Cemetery, Funeral and Cremation Services

280 Beechwood Ave.

Ottawa ON K1L 8A6