Sweet success

December 18, 2017 | Campus Life

MacEwan University’s sustainability team, together with Campus Services, hosted a sweetly successful honey sale this month.

More than 140 jars of MacEwan Honey were sold at the second-annual sale, which also featured a screening of Beyond Honey at MacEwan: Urban Beekeeping Revolution and a panel discussion about sustainability projects in Edmonton.

The golden product comes from the Urban Beekeeping Project. Kerstyn Lane is the engagement and outreach advisor for the Office of Sustainability, and coordinates the project. She says it was rewarding to see dozens of people line up the get their hands on some honey.

“People are fascinated by this project,” she says. “Not everyone is able to get up on the roof to see the beehives up close, but we make sure as many people as possible get the chance to try the delicious results of the project.”

Last year, the honey sold out in just 23 minutes. But now that the bees are in their second year on the Building 5 rooftop, they’re producing more honey. Thirty-one kilograms of honey were collected this year—a 16 kilogram boost from last year.

“That means there’s much more honey to go around,” Kerstyn says. “Eventually, we hope the bees will be making enough honey that we can sell it year round.”

Troy Donovan is MacEwan’s resident beekeeper. He moderated a panel discussion following the sale, which featured several prominent members of Edmonton’s sustainability community. He says various beekeeping projects in the city are showcasing how locally-made honey should be the preferred choice to store-bought honey.

“It was great to learn about how local organizations can use bees, honey and the environment to successfully market their locations as different and better than the competition,” he says.

But for Troy, discussing the success of the Urban Beekeeping Project was about more than selling honey.

“Everyone in attendance now shares a deeper connection with mother nature, and the bees helped bring that together,” he says.

People who didn’t get to grab a jar of MacEwan honey will have a chance once the weather warms up and the bees get back to work.

For updates or to read more about the project, check out the project's website.

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