News / Halifax

Dartmouth youth all abuzz over urban beekeeping enterprise

Youth will take care of the bees, market, package and sell the honey

Honey bees working on a hive.

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Honey bees working on a hive.

A group of Dartmouth youth are abuzz with excitement over a pilot project that will bring urban beekeeping to the community.

Stewart Zaun, program coordinator with Family SOS, said the Healthy Honey Beez Youth Social Enterprise is attracting a lot of attention.

“Urban beekeeping is becoming a very popular thing…For me this idea is exciting because it can get the youth excited not just about bees, not just about business and not just about their community, but also about science,” Zaun said.

“It also gives them confidence and pride and the ability to think ‘If I’m on the cutting edge of this, if I’m leading this charge, there’s no reason I can’t go to university, there’s no reason I can’t do whatever else I want to do in life.’”

The idea first sprouted wings in 2014 when youth in the Family SOS after school program at the Dartmouth North Community Centre expressed an interest in exploring a unique form of community entrepreneurship.

“I was on vacation and was sitting with a cousin of mine at her house and sitting on the deck watching her beehive and watching bees buzz by and it just struck me out of the blue that this would be a fantastic idea,” Zaun recalled.

“So I approached some of the youth and my executive director about the idea and everybody loved it.”

Last week a community meeting about the initiative was held at the Dartmouth North Community Centre. Zaun said they received positive feedback from those who attended.

Although they’re still waiting for official confirmation from the municipality, Zaun said the hope is to get access to the Guy Jacobs Community Garden on Jackson Road. Two hives will then be set up onsite.

The youth will be involved in all aspects of the enterprise, from taking care of the bees to marketing, packaging and eventually selling the honey at the Alderney market or at a local pop-up shop.

“Every indication I’ve gotten from the city is we’ll run this as a pilot project and if the pilot project is successful we would be able to grow it throughout the city,” Zaun said.

The hives are expected to arrive between the middle to the end of June. 

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