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University of Guelph building new honeybee research hive

An artist's rendering of the new Honey Bee Research Centre. (Courtesy: University of Guelph) An artist's rendering of the new Honey Bee Research Centre. (Courtesy: University of Guelph)

Researchers at the University of Guelph are doing their part to save the bees.

On Wednesday, the school broke ground on a new $16 million research facility, called the Honey Bee Research Centre.

The 15,000-square-foot building will be built on Stone Road, where the bee researchers currently work.

“This new Honey Bee Research Centre will allow us to scale up research and outreach,” said Dr. John Cranfield, Ontario Agricultural College associate dean external relations, in a media release. “The new facility will give the centre space to grow its engagement with apiarists, with community members interested in learning more about pollinators and honeybees, and with young people looking to be a part of positive change to support pollinators and to ensure a healthy environment and a safe food supply.”  

According to release, the centre will include indoor and outdoor education spaces, classrooms, event space, a laboratory, bee breeding facilities and pollinator gardens.

They also said the centre will be used to investigate the causes and potential solutions for the decline of pollinators.

A rendering for the inside of the new research facility. (Submitted/University of Guelph)

A “bee tree forest” will be created near the facility, with pollinator-friendly trees like basswood, maples and willows.

“Of all the things you can do to benefit bees, the number one thing is to provide bee habitat and forage,” saidresearch and apiary manager Paul Kelly.

The university said it currently manages the largest number of research honeybee colonies in North America, with 100 hives in the apiary and another 200 hives at the Arkell Research Station, as well 12 privately-run farms in the area.

The Honey Bee Research Centre first opened in 1894. The school has been working out of a repurposed bungalow near the school’s arboretum for decades, and more space is needed for research.

The university said $7.5 million for the project is coming from Lydia Luckevich, a U of G chemistry grad, and her late husband Don Pinchin, founder of the environmental consulting firm Pinchin Ltd.

The university expects the centre to open in 2025. Top Stories

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