After successfully completing The Modern Beekeeper course at Dalhousie University’s School of Agriculture in Truro, Nova Scotia, Nicole Dixon started keeping honeybees in 2018. As our town’s smaller lot sizes limit the number of hives one can keep on a single property, we have begun expanding our beekeeping operation by keeping bees at other properties in town.
Urban beekeeping is steadily growing. Urban bees often produce more honey as they have access to better and more varied forage (flowers) in urban settings. Since New Waterford is both urban and rural, our bees get the best of both worlds—plenty of native species and cultivated plants to choose from, resulting in one of the most unique flavours of honey we’ve ever tasted!
In 2019, with funding from the Nova Scotia government, we ran “Grow@Home/Town Grow’r,” an urban farm summer camp for youth aged 11-16. Participants had the opportunity to learn about beekeeping, wear bee suits, and participate in a honey harvest. As well, our youth employees have several opportunities during their internships to assist with our beekeeping operation.
We currently have one hive at our homestead and another hive less than a kilometre away. As the bees naturally multiply, we will be seeking other locations to house our bees in the future.