MacEwan University adds rooftop beehives to downtown Edmonton campus
Four hives have been installed on the roof of building five on City Centre campus
MacEwan University is the latest to get involved in urban beekeeping in downtown Edmonton, with four hives now on the roof of building five at the City Centre campus.
"Bees may be small, but they play a big role in human and ecosystem health," Kalen Pilkington, director of the university's office of sustainability, said in a news release issued Tuesday.
Bees and other pollinators, vital to the food system, pollinate almost 80 per cent of all food crops, according to a United Nations study.
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Studies have also found that bee populations are declining at an alarming rate, due to environmental challenges including habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change.
The university will join architectural firm Manasc Isaac, and the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in keeping rooftop bees in the downtown.
The bees will be taken care of by an on-site certified beekeeper, and the honey produced will be sold through MacEwan dining services.
The pilot project will use flow hives, a technology that allows keepers to see when the honey is ready through a clear end-frame viewing section.
The system is said to make harvesting the honey easier, and requires no expensive processing equipment.