From hive to home: Urban beekeeping with Concert Properties

From planting bee-friendly flowers in our gardens to searching the grocery store aisles for locally made honey, many of us have become increasingly aware of how our personal choices affect the bee population and, by extension, the environment.

At Concert Properties, we’re committed to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) guidelines and sustainable practices. One way that we support these efforts is through our partnership with local bee experts, Alvéole. What started as an urban backyard operation in 2013 has since grown to a global urban beekeeping adventure that Concert Properties is proud to have been a part of for the past seven years.

An Alvéole hive is installed and maintained by a dedicated beekeeper at three of our buildings in Vancouver – Axis, The Remington and 1190 Hornby (our head office). Additionally, hives are stored over winter at a fourth Concert Properties building, The Westridge, where residents receive jars of honey in return. Along with hive maintenance, Alvéole provides a unique engagement program that educates tenants and employees on the ecological importance of bees and brings awareness to our sustainability initiatives. 

Recently, Eric and Laura from Alvéole came by 1190 Hornby to host a honey extraction workshop. Over a fun-filled hour, employees from Concert Properties and other companies in the building came together to uncap honeycomb cells, hand-spin honeycombs in an extractor and filter raw honey before jarring it to take home. Those who stayed after the workshop were able to see an up-close demonstration of hive maintenance, including trying to spot the queen bee. 

In past workshops, attendees learned about the history and use of beeswax in candles and other products. These sessions are a great chance to connect within an exciting and experiential environment, making them one of the many ways Concert Properties’ facilitates socially sustainable communities. 

The hives also provide valuable data to beekeepers. Samples from each hive are analyzed several times a year to determine the diversity of flowers in the area, pollen quality and the health of the bees. Concert Properties recognizes that in an increasingly urban landscape, keeping bees healthy is one small but important step toward finding balance with the natural world around us.

And though many of us may not want to admit it, summer is coming to an end. The bees are getting ready for the winter ahead and under the care of the Alvéole team, we’re confident that our urban hives will continue to flourish next spring.