Guelph plans honeybee research centre

Guelph may soon become the honeybee capital of Canada.

The University of Guelph is planning to build a $12 million research and education centre dedicated to honeybees and other pollinators.

The proposed structure will house the existing Honey Bee Research Centre at the university, which has more than 300 bee hives.

“Our plan is to integrate the new centre within parts of U of G known for nature, food production and sustainability,” Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College said in a news release this morning.

“Anyone interested in honeybee health and management will be able to come and explore their interests in a state-of-the-art facility…. It will bring together faculty, students, industry, government and other researchers from around the world.”

The university is already known for honeybee research, so the new centre should add to that reputation. The Ontario Agricultural College initiated a training program for beekeeping in 1894. Now, the Honey Bee Research Centre has more than 300 hives that are used for education and research.

The new centre will feature more areas and ways for the public to learn about bees, including:

• pollinator gardens

• guided or self-guided tours

• a space for a classroom and events

The university, which hasn’t chosen a location or a name for the proposed centre, needs to raise $6 million to fund its construction. A donation from the Riviera Charitable Foundation will cover about half the cost.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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