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Bees at Work: 40,000 Bees Enjoy the #ViewFrom501

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June 5, 2020

UPDATED – May 20, 2021

Happy World Bee Day!

In 2020, the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. partnered with Alvéole, a Montreal based company that installs beehives at businesses and schools across North America. And on June 2 of last year, we officially launched that partnership with the installation of two beehives on the roof of the Embassy.

By now, most of us have heard about the decline of bee populations around the world and the impact that has for our environment. Studies have shown that one third of the food that we eat depends on pollinators like bees.  We are playing our part to ensure that bee populations are healthy and start to make a comeback. With the installation of the hives, every day thousands of bees fan out across Washington D.C., collecting pollen and playing an important role in our local environment.

Bees are also essential to agriculture in both Canada and the U.S. When the COVID pandemic first hit, there were significant limitations on air travel, which caused an issue for the normal shipment of U.S. bees to Canada for pollination. Through cross border collaboration with stakeholders and airlines, the necessary air cargo capacity was secured to fly in queen bees from California and Hawaii to Canada in time for the growing season, a win for both sides in sustaining binational trade and agricultural production. 

As the hives roll into their second year, we are happy to report that our approximately 40,000  bees were quite active in 2020. The bees were working from home, much like the rest of us, and helped produce 200 jars of honey from the flowers around the national mall! This likely included some from the Embassy’s very own butterfly garden right next to the hives.

For the latest updates on the Embassy bees, check out the hive’s blog here:

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