Whether you eat it on toast, pancakes or simply on its own, many people would agree that honey is one of the sweet pleasures of life. Producing it isn’t so simple. It’s a process that requires both time and a little bit of elbow grease.
Last weekend, an urban beekeeper from Montreal-based Alvéole organized an interactive workshop on the honey-making process at the Dorval Library. Residents who attended rolled up their sleeves and helped scrape the sticky goodness from honeycombs. They also operated the honey extractor and even helped pour it into tiny jars.
« This is great for the kids. They get to experience how real honey is made. It’s not just a product that comes to the store. They will appreciate it more, » says Dorval city councillor Marc Doret.
Earlier this year, the city installed two bee hives behind the Westwood Sports Complex. Located in a gated enclosure, they shelter close to 20 thousand bees. Some of the golden goodness produced at the workshop came from them.
« It’s something different that Dorval has. We’re very happy. We didn’t know what to expect in the first year. It’s been a huge success, » says Dorval mayor Edgar Rouleau.
Besides producing honey, the project was organized to educate residents about the importance of bees to society.
« They are so vital to the environment. Without them, we wouldn’t have a lot of foods we eat, » says Maud Vallières-Polo, urban beekeeper at Alvéole. « People don’t realize that. »
Honey bees are considered important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables. They transfer pollen between the male and female parts which allow plants to grow seeds.
About 30 kilograms of the Made In Dorval honey is expected to be harvested by year’s end.
« I have already tasted it with white toast in the morning. It’s beautiful, » Mayor Rouleau says with a smile.
City officials say jars of the locally-produced honey could be sold to residents in the coming weeks. The money raised from the effort will be donated to community groups.
Plans are already underway to expand the initiative for 2019. More bee hives are expected to be added. That will mean more sweet stuff for Dorval residents to enjoy.
For more info: ville.dorval.qc.ca