“We don’t think about the tiny honeybee very often, but it’s quickly making big headlines around the world! The honeybee is the cornerstone of the environment and critical to our food supply but around the world. Natural pollinators are disappearing rapidly and each year we become more dependent on honey bees for many of our daily foods.” – Canadian Honey Council
Under Beekeper Brian Hamlin, six large colonies are housed by Portlands Energy Centre. Our hives are beautifully hand painted by Brian and are a colourful, popular feature to view on the plant grounds. The PEC bees help to pollinate the 21 hectares of land that the energy centre sits on, as well as the Leslie Street local community garden, Tommy Thompson Park, Cherry Beach and all surrounding areas. Portlands Energy Centre Honey is harvested annually and can be purchased at The Saint Lawrence Market, along with Toronto Island Honey and other honeys produced locally. All proceeds from the sales of PEC honey go directly back into the bee keeping project. Follow us on Twitter for more cool facts about bees and for updates on the honey harvest.
Did you know?
- It requires 556 worker bees to gather a pound of honey.
- The average life of a honey bee during the working season is about six weeks.
- A worker bee gathers in her entire life 0.8 gram (0.0288 ounce) of honey.
At Portlands Energy Centre, we are dedicated to creating a habitat for birds and other native and migratory wildlife to prosper throughout our grasslands and marshland areas. Portlands Energy Centre is situated on 12 hectares of which 11 hectares which has been landscaped with a comprehensive plan that has incorporated more than 3,000 indigenous trees and shrubs.
In March 2014, Tommy Thompson Park volunteers noticed ravens building a nest on the catwalk around the Portlands Energy Centre’s chimney. The National Post has since written about the ‘Ravens Return’ to Toronto after a 150 year hiatus. We, along with the local birding crowd are watching the raven family’s progress and standing by to safeguard their nest, as required.
The Ecological Sustainability Committee partnered with Graham Beakhust (The Guerrilla Gardener) to oversee the plantings and landscaping developments on site and has helped to build relationships within our community. Purple Martins currently nest in the nearby allotment gardens and PEC is exploring the possibility of providing an additional martin house on its site..
We encourage our staff to photograph any and all species that they see on the PEC grounds. The photos shown on this page are all submitted by our staff.