Alberta is home to over 200 bee species, and our office rooftops are home to one of them.
A few years ago, we partnered with Alvéole, an urban beekeeping company which aims to promote the importance of bees in the urban environment. Hives were first installed on the roof of two of our Calgary office buildings, Airstate Centre and Atrium I, and a third hive was later installed at Atrium II. These hives are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and tended by a dedicated Alvéole beekeeper to ensure the ongoing health of the colony.
The bees are singularly focused on maintaining hive development by bringing nectar, pollen resin and water to the colony, and only sting when they feel their colony is threatened. As their colonies are located well away from our tenants and clients, there is little chance of the bees encountering the type of aggression that would see them resort to stinging. As well, Alvéole works with a special breed of Italian bees known for their mild temperament and docility – keepers wear little to no protection.
Over the past couple of years, the tenants have been given opportunities to learn more during online seminars, as well as being invited up onto the roofs (following all safety protocols) to interact with the beehives through clinics run by our Alvéole beekeeper. The honey produced from these hives is given back to our tenants as holiday gifts, new tenant welcome gifts, and as swag at events, further enhancing their apian experience. These types of interactions are allow us to offer something unique and meaningful to our tenants while encouraging bees to flourish in an urban environment.
The hives have been wrapped up tight for the winter, but the bees are starting to emerge. You can check in on them by visiting the blogs for each hive: