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McCall Lake bees create buzz at city golf course

The City of Calgary came up with a really sweet idea. They installed two beehives at the McCall Lake golf course.

The hives were installed in June and will be home to 52,500 bees over the next three years.

Beekeeper Sean Higgins, who has been managed hundreds of hives in Calgary and Edmonton, will help harvest more than 30 kg of honey. That’s roughly 200 jars of the sweet stuff.

“Honeybees are so beloved for the benefits they bring us,” said beekeeper Sean Higgins.

“Hosting hives is a great way to encourage people to create more pollinator habitat, find alternatives to pesticide use and come together around the beautiful natural areas we have right here in our urban centre.”

Earlier this summer, Calgary completed a pollinator garden along Stephen Avenue. That program received $300,000 from the Council Innovation Fund to put bee-friendly plants along the pedestrian corridor.

After the honey is harvest in the fall, the bees will be winterized and stored.

They will be fed sugar syrup with vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy over the winter months. It keeps them strong over the cooler winter months, the city said.

The bees are moved to a winterized box wrapped in insulation. It’s covered with a foam lid to keep the warmth inside. If they want to get out for any reason, there’s small holes in the wrapping for them to exit.

More beehives could be added at Calgary facilities if this project is successful, the city said.