Bee City Canada

Hey Hivers – It’s official. Toronto now has the enviable title of being the very first city in Canada to earn the title of ‘Bee City Canada’. The Bee City movement started in the US in 2012 when the town of Asheville, North Carolina, became the inaugural Bee City. The movement there began as a way to promote pollinators of all kinds and to encourage urban bee keeping.

The rallying cry of “Procreate, Pollinate and Provide” is the buzz of this mandate.

Phyllis Stiles is one of the Bee City USA Committee Members:

“One in every three bites we eat is courtesy of insect pollination. A beekeeper with one or two hives is going to make a difference in saving bees and other pollinators in the future.”




BEEGrrl applauds this designation for the city where she began the rooftop apiary with the hotel’s Executive Chef, David Garcelon in collaboration the the Toronto Beekeepers Collaborative at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in 2008. A mutual interest in urban agriculture and bee protection gave rise to the worlds very first hotel rooftop apiary in a city center (so far undisputed).


Melanie Coates/ BEEGrrl Head Beekeeper at Fairmont Royal York

Melanie Coates/ BEEGrrl Head Beekeeper at Fairmont Royal York Toronto


Since establishing the hotel’s apiary, the thousands of pounds of honey harvested on the rooftop have been used in the hotel’s restaurants, bars and guest amenities. Chef Garcelon has taken his rooftop bees to New York’s Park Avenue atop the prestigious Waldorf Astoria.

There’s a new chef in town at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto. Executive Chef Robert Mills plans to take urban beekeeping to even greater heights with BEEGrrl in 2016.

BEEGrrl Melanie has been a long-time member of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-Op and the Ontario Beekeepers Association. As she forages the world for all spots a-buzz, she continues to harvest award-winning honey and host her Toronto Storefront on “Duwest”. Why not do a fly by with your honeys to 2003 Dundas West, on Saturdays from noon to 3:00, also by chance or appointment.