Are you scared of bees? Me too! Well… I thought I was until I started learning more about them through the urban beekeeping campaign at the City. In April 2015, the Animal Licensing and Control Bylaw was officially changed to allow urban beekeeping within the City of Edmonton following a successful pilot. A few weeks ago the campaign launched to help citizens, like me and you, understand more about urban beekeeping and the amazing things bees can do for our environment. I promise, there’s no need to be as scared as I have been my whole life!
The aim of the campaign is to bust some common myths about bees now that beekeeping is allowed within city limits. The main feature of the campaign is a bee-themed animated video series, two of which have already been released!
Hani Quan is the planner involved in this project and is pleased with the direction of the campaign. “Urban beekeeping is a key part of our food system and can help with pollination that improves the overall biodiversity and resilience of our city,” says Hani Quan, acting senior planner with CITYlab. “With this campaign, we are trying to address some of the common myths that we’ve heard from Edmontonians, while having some fun with videos that are accessible to all ages. Learning about bees will help make people less scared and nervous around them.”
Myths about bees are common and some of the ones tackled in the videos include myths about swarms, honey production, aggressiveness and beekeeping itself! Some people may bee-lieve (see what we did there?) in common bee myths and these videos will help shed light on the myth-information out there on honey bees.
Edmontonians are starting to talk about honey bees and beekeeping and the feedback has been great. I asked a few people that have been following the campaign to comment on what they’ve learned thus far.
“I honestly had no idea about urban beekeeping!” says Hannah, a student at the U of A. “I’ve been following the story since April now and have already learned more about bees than I thought I could. It’s really a cool concept.”
“It’s like there’s this whole other world that we don’t even realize is there,” says Jon, a construction worker in Edmonton. “I had no clue that bees are so vital to our ecosystem and to the environment.”
“I love the cute bee in the video,” says Ava, a grade four student in Edmonton. “And I also am learning a lot about bees. I don’t swat at them anymore to make them go away because the video taught me that we need bees to help our environment!”
Ava hit the nail on the head; awareness and education about bees are essential, just as bees are essential to our existence. We need to learn more about our fuzzy, buzzy friends so that we can learn how to help them and protect them.
The myth-buzz’ting videos are being released every second Thursday throughout the summer. Check the City’s Youtube page, Facebook and Twitter feeds to enjoy the videos. The videos have helped me understand a little more and I think they’ll help you too!
For frequently asked questions, check out the Bee in the Know document.
To find out more about urban beekeeping please visit edmonton.ca/bees.