On a super sunny and warm day I cycled down to the Hastings Urban Farm (HUF) for the Hives for Humanity Pollinator Workshop. I had passed the site prior, but never stopped in… and what a cool place!
Tucked into the densely urban structures is a parcel of land that has been cultivated for urban farming. Anyone can come into the space during the day to check things out. There was a lot of green in the raised beds. I started to chat with Brenda, the head gardener, who told me a bit of the history of the space and who they partner for the produce (including a local super market that uses garden produce to make meals for local residents). It felt so lovely to be in a garden in the midst of downtown Vancouver.
Sarah, the workshop leader, threw on her bee-keeping digs and shared her wealth of knowledge and experience with the 15 attendees. We talked about different bees, local species, bee habitat, bee life-cycles, pollination (of course), and honey, all within the framework of the urban city-scape. Sarah is very passionate about bees…and it was contagious. We tasted local honey, yum
I got home and cleaned out my mason bee hive (this plastic structure), as Sarah recommended such a clean every couple of years to make sure the bees have “clean sheets” and not illness grow into the tubes.
If we didn’t already know this, bees are responsible for pollinating a significant portion of our plants involved in food production, and that bee habitat has been decreasing. Sarah showed us a variety of affordable ways to make bee homes to put up around the places we live, including leaving some land fallow and “wild” as many bees prefer to house in the ground.
Thank you very much Sarah and the crew from Hives for Humanity at the Hastings Urban Farm. There are workshops at the HUF every Thursday from 1-3 PM. For more information you can visit: Hives for Humanity or Twitter-