Rory Wills/HBRC 2021

What’s Happening? Summer 2023

It has been a busy summer, as usual! Our team consisted of twenty individuals! This includes full-time staff, part-time volunteers, international interns, visiting scholars, graduate students, and student employees. Each morning, we start the day with an organizational meeting to pitch our thoughts, updates, and plans for the day ahead.

We hosted at least one tour per day throughout the May, June, and July months! While these tours are conducted for educational purposes, they also generate some revenue for the centre. Tours provide us with the opportunity for us to sell our hive products and educational materials.

Our ‘Hive Life Photos’, which we launched last year, have been selling worldwide. If you are interested in learning more about our educational resources, please visit

As of the end of July, we received the final permits for the construction of the new Honey Bee Research Centre. Excavation began in early August. YAY!

We are using remote locations on the new site for research hives. This allows us to prevent drifting between colonies as we attempt to track approximately 14,000 paint-marked bees that have been given a variety of nutritional treatments. 

‘Do-it-all Katie’ observes foraging behaviour at an isolated location on the new HBRC site.

Our volunteers Neil and Kate Petreny are taking weekly drone pictures of the HBRC construction process. Coming soon, we will be posting these images on the HBRC website.

Earlier this summer, our volunteer, Fred Fulkerson, and HBRC manager, Paul Kelly, travelled to Amherst, Massachusetts to present at the Eastern Apicultural Society annual meeting. Fred and Paul hosted a Beekeepers Olympics. The highlight of this event was the drone-spitting competition! Paul gave talks on our low varroa growth (LVG) breeding program and on how we conduct our HBRC tours.

Over the years, we have learned a variety of interactive methods to engage tour participants. We start with a ‘Best of Bee Behaviour’ biology lesson in our outdoor classroom under the Catalpa trees. We then move onto an enjoyable experience in the bee yard. Of course, the tour ends with at stop at our shop!