July 9, 2018

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life offices buzzing with urban beekeeping installations

The Beeproject Apiaries team installing hives at Great-West Life’s Winnipeg office located at 60 Osborne St. N.


Winnipeg, MB, July 9, 2018. . .  Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life today announced the installation of beehives on the rooftops of their offices in Winnipeg, London and Toronto. The hives will produce sustainable honey and help boost declining honey bee populations, which are important pollinators for local greenspaces and food production.

“We believe it’s important that our offices integrate with their natural environment and support the overall health and well-being of the local community,” said Stefan Kristjanson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Great-West Life. “With honey bee populations being threatened across Canada, our urban beekeeping initiative will help ensure these vital pollinators can flourish, keeping our communities vibrant and green.”  

The company has teamed up with local beekeeping firms to install and maintain the hives. Alvéole is caring for two hives installed at 330 University Avenue in Toronto, while Beeproject Apiaries is managing two hives at 60 Osborne Street North in Winnipeg. The company’s London offices will be installing their hives later this year.

“We are excited to be working with Great-West Life to help promote and protect the bees,” said Lindsay Nikkel, Co-Owner and Urban Beekeeper, Beeproject Apiaries. “The honey bees installed at Great-West Life will pollinate local gardens and fruit trees, produce honey and engage the community in important environmental discussions.”

According to Beeproject Apiaries, honey bees typically forage for nectar within a 2-mile radius of their hive, which helps pollinate local ecosystems and many of the fruits and vegetables that end up on our kitchen tables. Beeproject Apiaries estimates that nearly one-third of our food is dependent on pollinators like the honey bee.

“The hives at the Canada Life building have affected the way the company thinks about bees, farming and the plight of pollinators,” said Blake Retter, Bee Director, Alvéole Toronto. “Together, we're not only producing local honey, but also inspiring people to become ambassadors for a bee-friendly environment."

Each hive installation contains as many as 50,000 honey bees and will produce up to 25 kilograms of honey. The honey will be harvested annually and bottled in accordance with food regulations.

About Beeproject Apiaries

Beeproject promotes sustainable urban beekeeping, installing and maintaining hives on rooftops and in backyards across Winnipeg. Through their active involvement in changing city of Winnipeg bylaws to allow urban beekeeping, they have been working to educate the public around the true nature and importance of the honeybee. As a supporter of the urban food movement, Beeproject is eager to protect honeybees, promote food security, educate the public and introduce EVERYONE to the amazing honey that the urban setting can provide.

About Alvéole

Alvéole is a social enterprise that provides urban beekeeping services to Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. Alvéole's bees help pollinate city ecosystems and produce hyper-local honey at the same time. Their hives are managed by knowledgeable and personable beekeepers who love to share their passion for beekeeping with others. Through practical workshops and seminars, Alvéole's mission is to raise awareness about the issues affecting bees and other pollinators and to teach people in the city how to support them at home.

About Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

Together, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life help to build a brighter future for communities by providing financial support focused on education, health and wellness, arts, social services and community development. As an Imagine Caring Company, supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, they contribute at least one per cent of average pre-tax profits in support of the communities where their employees live and work. In 2017, our companies contributed $13.5 million to communities. To learn more visit the Great-West Life websiteOpens a new website in a new window.

For more information contact:

Tim Oracheski
Director, Media & Public Relations
Great-West Life
Email Tim Oracheski