Educational Bee Hive Project (SP0171)

Status: ON HOLD April 2017 - 

The Educational Bee Hive project aims to improve on the Macdonald Campus Apiary Society by purchasing and assembling a FlowHive, a self-harvesting bee hive. This hive will allow for easy extraction of honey with only the turn of a tap. The project will create a safer environment for the bees and an educational resource for students interested in apiary studies to teach and promote sustainable apiculture, as well as create locally-sourced honey for use at McGill.

Read the full project description

Bees are vital in the pollination of food crops. Nevertheless, bees are being threatened by urgent issues like colony collapse disorder which is causing cascade effects for many honey-bee dependent plants, including common fruits such as: apples, raspberries and tomatoes, all of which are produced on Mac Campus. Through the use of the FlowHive, we hope to ensure the survival of honey bees on campus. 

The FlowHive, the first of its kind, is a self-harvesting bee hive. The FlowHives allow the extraction of honey with the turn of a knob to ensure minimal disturbance to the colony. The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual. When we turn the knob, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels allowing the honey to flow down through the cells to the base of the frame and out of the hive while the bees are undisturbed on the comb surface. The hives also have a glass panel, which will allow students to see into the colony without any worry of stings or disturbance to the colony. Therefore, we can ensure a safe environment both for students and the bees to learn about apiculture. We will use the hive for educational purposes, both for the McGill students and the Farm-to-School club, teaching students about the importance of sustainable honey. Having a safe hive will allow students to develop an interest in this otherwise non-accessible field. We hope to raise awareness for honey populations in Quebec and ensure sustainable agriculture. The hives are designed with proper winter protection for the bees, for greater survival rate from year to year. The FlowHive is expected to last for approximately 10 years. 

Funds from the SPF will be used to purchase the FlowHive Cedar Model, jars for honey and promotional materials (stickers). 

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Macdonald Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG)

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erin.brown3 [at] (Erin Brown)