Home Sweet Home
Honey is the quintessential treat. It has been the object of human fascination and mythologizing and just plain enjoyment for thousands of years. Perhaps even more important than our relationship to honey is our relationship to bees, of which honey is a sweet bonus. Today, about a third of what we eat - fruits, vegetables and nuts - depends on pollination by bees. And the worldwide bee population is in serious decline - threatened by loss of habitat, climate change, the large scale use of certain pesticides in industrial agriculture and other factors.
Alvéole is a remarkable company based in Montreal that sees saving the bees as a way to save our cities and save ourselves. It turns out that cities are great places for bees to thrive: there are strict anti-pesticide laws, untapped floral diversity and largely unused rooftop spaces. Alvéole has come to Toronto to expand their work and they and their urban honeybee partners have delivered the sweet results of their time in the city in the form of this extraordinary collection of honeys produced in four distinct neighbourhoods in Toronto: The Junction, Rosedale, Cabbagetown and Leslieville. Bees collect the nectar to support their colonies generally within about a 5km radius so each of these honeys has a distinct flavour and colour that reflects the botanical character of its part of the city.
It's a wonderful project in and of itself and this sweet byproduct of it is an extraordinary treat for all you locavores out there. It's also a terrific souvenir of our city. And there is some evidence that trace amounts of pollen in honey can help build immunity to allergies so if you're one of those people who feels allergic to leaving Parkdale/HighPark/Roncy, this could be just the boost you're looking for to help you explore the city with the help of some buzzy little workers.To find out more about Alvéole and the ways in which they promote education, urban planning, corporate responsibility, team building and so much more, you can check out this short video: