July 14, 2022 1:59 pm back to news

Creating a “Buzz” at 201 Portage

201 Portage is pleased to welcome hundreds of tiny new tenants to our downtown tower.

This spring, 201 partnered with BeeProject Apiaries to install two urban beehives on our 2nd-level roof. The goal of these hives is to not only support the local honeybee population, but to also give us an opportunity to raise awareness of the vital role these flying friends play in our environment.

For example, did you know that 35% of the world’s food production is dependent on pollination? Fruit, vegetables, and other plants are all directly or indirectly dependent on pollination provided by honeybees.  

Unfortunately, it is also well known that the honeybee population is on the decline globally.   

It might seem surprising at first, but urban settings like downtown Winnipeg are ideal for honeybees and their hives for several reasons; the city helps provide protection from many predators; the bees avoid pesticides and chemical treatments used in agricultural settings; there is a wide variety of food sources, and urban settings also typically offer warmer temperatures and superior wind protection. These factors, among others, increase the amount of time bees can forage for nectar.  

But doesn’t increasing the number of bees around 201 increase the chances of being stung?  

Well, honeybees typically forage up to 5km away from the hive, so you will hardly notice them on site. Bees are also naturally docile and will never sting unless seriously threatened. Unlike wasps, honeybees are not aggressive, nor are they attracted to human food; they are vegetarian and rely exclusively on local vegetation, whereas wasps are omnivorous and opportunistic.  

We can’t wait to share more about this project with you and will be extending invitations to join virtual workshops over the summer, providing you with the opportunity to observe and learn about honeybee hives and beekeeping.  

To learn more about BeeProject Apiaries, click here, or click the video below!