In line with our sustainable development objectives and our desire to reduce our environmental footprint and play a positive role in the fight against climate change while pursuing our long-term growth, WATERAX will launch an urban beekeeping project in early October in collaboration with Alvéole.

The mission of urban beekeeper Alvéole is to help people connect with nature—even in the downtown core. It installs and cares for beehives at businesses and schools, providing both an educational service and exceptional experience while helping people fall in love with bees.

With team members and operations across most major Canadian and U.S. cities, Alvéole works year-round to raise ecological awareness across North America. In 2018, it received its B Corp Certification, a testament to its efforts to generate positive economic, social and ecological impacts.

Since its founding in 2013, Alvéole has put more than 50,000 people in touch with bees, creating a strong sense of connection to nature in cities.

Learn more about Alveole.

A few facts:

What is urban beekeeping?

In short, urban beekeeping consists of installing beehives in the city. The rise in this movement is intrinsically related to the resurgence of interest in local food production, but it’s also been supported by a general concern for the fate of pollinators, which are responsible for pollinating one-third of everything we put on our plates.

What are the benefits or advantages of urban beekeeping?

In a nutshell, the practice brings city dwellers together around a project that allows for the repurposing of an unused space, making it possible to highlight a variety of issues related to the environment, industrial agriculture, pollination and greening, while producing local, artisanal honey.

Why bring bees into the city?

Bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of what we eat, on top of being vital to our ecosystems and biodiversity, which is why their global population decline is so alarming. Their progressive extinction is namely due to industrial agriculture—monocultures, the ubiquitous use of pesticides, and loss of habitat—but also climate change.

And it isn’t just the honey bee that’s in danger: all insect and animal pollinators are subject to the same pressures, and threatened by the same factors. Urban beekeeping allows us to highlight the issues and underline the challenges faced by all pollinators so that citizens may become invested in their protection, ultimately harnessing that attachment to ensure a commitment to all living beings as well as a transformed view of the environment.

How can honey bees help all pollinators, including wild bees?

Honey bees have become the unlikely ambassadors of something incredibly important and much larger than themselves: the rapid changes we must invoke to ensure our food systems become sustainable. This is why we’re shedding light on honey bees: so that citizens grow attached to them, and that we may ultimately harness that attachment to ensure a commitment to all living beings as well as a transformed view of the environment. Once a person begins to take an interest in the world of bees, environmental challenges that were once distant and abstract suddenly appear much more urgent and important. Bees allow for all of those who pay attention to the world around them to better understand the importance of pollinators for the health of our ecosystems and biodiversity as a whole.