This garden is an excellent example of re-purposing an existing outdoor space to create a garden that is both educational and environmentally responsible. In response to the growing interest in the essential role that bees and other pollinators play in a healthy natural environment and food system, the TBG redeveloped the former library garden to be a more supportive of bee activity. As part of our education program, the original garden was replanted with a combination of native and non native shrubs, perennials, annuals and flowering bulbs to provide all-season colour and a continued source of pollen and nectar. In the spring of 2011, two hives of honeybees were added to this garden. Although visitors to the TBG do not have direct access to the garden, they can observe the daily activity of the busy bees from the observation windows in the Moriyama building or from the large glass doors in the Weston Family Library. The bees are cared for by TBG staff, students of Urban Beekeeping classes and members of the Toronto Beekeeper’s Cooperative. These honeybees join a variety of other native bees and pollinators to work the Pollinator Garden that surrounds the hives as well as the TBG gardens, Edwards Gardens and the nearby ravine system. TBG beekeepers check the hives every 10 days from April to October to ensure they are doing well.
- The Pollinator Garden showcases a carefully selected combination of native and non native shrubs, perennials, annuals and flowering bulbs to provide all-season colour and source of pollen and nectar
- The physical hives were built by students in the Urban Beekeeping classes
- The two colonies of honey bees are cared for by TBG staff, students of TBG’s Urban Beekeeping classes and members of the Toronto Beekeeper’s Cooperative
- After the first season, a combined harvest of 65 lbs of honey was harvested from both of the hives
This project was initiated through a generous donation by The Home Depot Canada and the on-going support of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative.