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Bee swarm stalls construction

A queen bee found her new home.
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Michael Hiscock, June 27, 2013 11:11:04 PM

Downtown Toronto is abuzz with activity.

A swarm of bees disrupted construction near Union Station, after the queen of the colony went in search of a new home.

Apparently, she found one.

Her colony swarmed the construction site before gathering on the side of a backhoe. But even stranger is where they all came from: a luxury hotel right across the street. The thousands of insects are believed to have come from the Fairmont Royal York hotel’s rooftop summer colony, dubbed the ‘Honeymoon suite.’

The hotel opened three hives in 2008, and now own six. They were opened in partnership with the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative to help create a sustainable source of the sweet nectar, while also giving the colony a safe haven.

And now they’ve decided to take over.

So if you think this ‘beehaviour’ is just a strange occurrence, think again. According to the University of Guelph’s Honey Bee Research Centre head, ‘swarming’ is something Ontarians should get used to. Not only is the process natural and a sign of good health, the phenomenon is becoming even more common as many urban dwellers take on beekeeping. There are thousands of hobbyist keepers in Ontario alone.

On the plus side, city spokeswoman Nancy Kuyumcu told the Toronto Star that bees on the move are actually ‘quite docile,’ and that there have been no reports of any stings from the incident.

Image credit: Roger Petersen/Twitter

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