Urban beekeeping project
As part of its actions under the sustainable development plan, the City of Saint-Lambert, in collaboration with its Environment Committee, decided to set up an urban beekeeping project in 2014.
Following its success, the project is now part of the regular municipal activities and produced annually a good urban honey harvest. Two hives were installed on the roof of the Public Works Office. The bees will overwinter there, well insulated to allow them to withstand extreme cold and icy winds.
With these hives, the City is helping to restore balance to the urban ecosystem and, especially, to protect bee populations, which have been in sharp decline worldwide for more than a decade. According to European and U.S. health authorities, many factors have contributed to the decrease in bee colonies, including the various pathogens that affect them, aggressive beekeeping methods, and environmental pollution, including pesticides and electromagnetic waves (cell phones, Wi-Fi).
In response to diminishing bee colonies, an environmental movement has emerged, with the specific aim of protecting bees. Among other things, urban beekeeping intends to help preserve bee populations and maintain a balanced ecosystem. On the rise in a number of large cities such as New York and Paris, the practice of urban beekeeping has become increasingly popular since 2012 in Montreal, which will be home to some estimated 300 hives in summer 2014.
Why protect bees?
From an environmental perspective, bees are essential to agriculture, as they are the main pollinators of fruit and vegetable crops, such as apples, cucumbers, onions, and melons. And from an economic point of view, these remarkable pollinators contribute to agricultural production and save the agricultural industry billions of dollars every year.
How to tell a bee from a wasp
A wasp has no hair or fur on its body, is bright yellow with black lines, and its abdomen is clearly separated from its thorax. A carnivore, the wasp is attracted by organic waste and sweet substances, which is why it is such a pest during outdoor meals in the summer. Wasps are predators of honeybees and tend to be more aggressive than bees, often stinging its victim several times.
A bee is furry, with black and amber alternating stripes. It is a vegetarian, peaceful insect. In fact, its main occupation consists of flitting from flower to flower, gathering pollen and nectar that will be used, among other things, to produce honey.
Unlike wasps or mosquitoes, bees only sting if they think they are in danger, to protect their hive. It is the perfect insect to share our urban environment.