Saskatoon restaurant experiments with rooftop beekeeping

Calories Restaurant co-owner Edyta Sieminska hopes that an experiment in rooftop beekeeping will inspire more businesses in the city to give it a try.

Calories Restaurant on Broadway Avenue now home to 4 bustling beehives

A few of Calories Restaurant's newest staff members hard at work. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

Once their new rooftop bee colonies get established, Calories Restaurant won't need to go far for fresh honey.

"Cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg have been doing this for a couple of years now," said Edyta Sieminska, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband. "There are a lot of restaurants and hotels that have their own beehives on top of their roof."

Sieminska said she hopes the new addition will spark a similar trend in Saskatoon, inspiring other businesses to give beekeeping a try. 

"On top of the added perks of having the honey from the bees for various dishes as well as the wax for making candles, I think that our goal really was to bring attention to the bees and the health of the population," she said. 

A collaboration 

The beehives are the result of a collaboration with local beekeeper Barry Brown and art educator Monique Martin, who spearheaded the project.

Martin's students from Georges Vanier and St. Philip schools were heavily involved as well, and painted the brightly coloured wooden boxes that house the four hives.
The bees are 'very chilled out and relaxed,' according to Calories Restaurant co-owner Edyta Sieminska. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

For Sieminska, there was little hesitation when the idea was proposed. She has memories from her childhood in Poland of her grandfather keeping bees.

She said it also doesn't hurt that she studied biology, with an emphasis on insects.

"I think it's just very meditative just to sit and watch them. It's very peaceful and they are busy doing their thing. I think they're fascinating."

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning