The bees making the honey at the Downsview, Toronto location could almost be called rock n’ roll bees,  given their close proximity to the band shell that was established in 2003  to welcome the Rolling Stones in 2003. Since then, Downsview has become the prime site for the annual Edgefest summer music festivals.

The Downsview apiary location was established in 2010  by The Toronto Beekeepers Co-op in partnership with FoodShare.  Bees here neighbour a thicket of sumac trees and forage on a range of plants, beginning with fields of spring dandelions and turning to chemical free gardens throughout the summer and fall. At harvest time every full honey frame is lovingly pulled from the 24 hives and brought for extraction to the FoodShare warehouse and commercial kitchens. From there the wax caps are removed painstakingly by precision scaling , placed in a hand spun extractor and then strained into cheese cloth. Once the liquid gold fully oozes out of the extractor and into the bucket, it is readied for bottling.

As a member of Toronto Beekeepers Co-Op I seek to understand the environment of the bees we keep, and in turn I too share my time and knowledge with a group of 40 like minded beekeepers.  The experience is enriching and long lasting friendships have been established through our work with the bees.  The other benefit of involvement with the co-op is a honey share at the end of the season.  When  BEEgrrl clients enjoy a taste of city bee honey they are enjoying the fruits of our collective labour.  Honey is the original slow food– especially when it comes to the slow drips of honey at harvest time.