Brandon University is proud to host the first urban honeybee hives in the City of Brandon as we explore beekeeping on campus.
Our five-year pilot project is called “Bee U” and should provide significant benefit to Brandon’s biodiversity and to the bee population, while making next to no noticeable impact on our neighbours.
We began in Summer 2022 with two hives, and are are expanding in 2023 to a maximum of four hives, together with a nucleus hive. They are set up, maintained, and removed by a beekeeper registered with the province of Manitoba who is also training members of the BU community in how to care for the bees. Hives are typically installed at the end of May, and removed in late August or early September to harvest the honey and return the bees to their apiary for the winter.
Thanks to a partnership with Summus, during the 2022 season we were able to provide close-up coverage of the hives with a 24/7 streaming camera. We have relocated the hives to a new roof for 2023, which puts them in a better spot for public viewing. They are located on the roof of the Knowles-Douglas Student Union Centre, just outside a bank of plate glass windows on the upper floor of the McMaster Hall entrance (located off 18th Street, set behind the BU bus stop). All bee-curious people are invited to come view the hives anytime the university is open. This is a safe and up-close place to watch the hive activity as well as regular beekeeping duties.
We are planning to reinstall cameras as soon as possible, and the hive-stream will return!
All about bees
Bees are remarkable insects, and humans have had a relationship with honeybees for thousands of years.
Why support bees
Bees, including wild native bee species, are important pollinators that help humans produce food. But bee populations are at risk around the world.
Bees are gentle insects that typically only sting when their hive is threatened. Keeping bees and humans safe is a key consideration of this project.
How you can help
Your garden can be a smorgasbord for bees — and you might not even notice. Here are some ways that you can roll out the welcome mat for these wonderful insects.
How about some honey?
A portion of our honey harvest is dedicated to supporting food security through local food banks. Some will also be used right here at Brandon University, in Harvest Hall and Bailey’s. But that leaves a lot for you! Stay tuned for information about honey opportunities later in the summer.
Want to learn more? There are great resources online! Here are a few: