Buzz About Bees

Apiverte ANG

Sandra Bornn appreciates a challenge, especially if it involves something that frightens her. Originally fearful of bees, she was drawn to them anyway, and a world of sweetness opened up.  

Sandra was nervous when first encountering a friend’s rooftop bee colonies. But it didn’t take long before she found herself responding to a post for two hives listed on Wakefield Folks Facebook group. A love affair began, and there was no turning back. 

Sandra’s skills as a graphic designer, coupled with her husband Michael’s technology and building expertise, led them to create a new business model for producing small-batch artisanal honey in partnership with the local community. 

Together, they developed the “EZHouse”, a structure that was inspired by the traditional bee houses of Slovenia in combination with what is typically used in North American apiaries. Sandra and Michael have designed a honeybee habitat that protects the bees from harsh environmental changes and potential predators while enabling the beekeeper to keep several colonies within a single, easy-to-access structure. 

The EZHouses are built in Apiverte’s workshop and installed throughout the Gatineau Hills. EZHouses can be found on commercial, residential, and agricultural host properties and can even be used to raise funds for local causes. 

Apiverte involves “practically everyone,” said Sandra.

The finishing touch on each EZHouse is a one-of-a-kind mural painted by local artists. You can find these installation art pieces nestled into their natural environments all over the region.  

Apiverte’s goal is to propagate and protect managed and native pollinators, and produce small-batch, artisanal honey. Apiverte currently has 30 sites hosting EZHouses in Aylmer, Chelsea, and Wakefield as well as heading up the line to Low and Venosta. In total, there are over 120 colonies housed in EZHouses, filled with busy bees doing what they do best … pollinating the local flora and producing a wonderfully tasty local honey. 

All this began in early 2019, and despite Covid-19 the initiative is buzzing and growing. The SADC offered a loan that helped Apiverte acquire equipment and manage monthly overhead expenses. Apiverte has big plans: expand further into the surrounding areas and ultimately promote the EZHouse throughout Canada and beyond. 

You can participate! Apiverte offers opportunities for people to get involved. Build awareness of honeybees and native pollinators by joining an experience, workshop or event where curious folks can watch as the honey is harvested from the local host hives. Watch for free public events throughout July and August, or book a private experience.  

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