The Shaw Conference Centre has built an international reputation for its expertise in hosting events of all forms and sizes. If you’ve felt a buzz while visiting, it’s not just because of the atmosphere within the building. Outside, you’ll find hundred of plants being pollinated by the Shaw Conference Centre’s very own bees.
In 2016, the venue was approved for the installation of one hive on its property under the City of Edmonton’s urban beekeeping program. The hive, which started with an initial 8,000 bees, quickly grew to over 70,000 during the summer. The docile, friendly bees fly in a 4 km radius, pollinating the sustainable permaculture around the convention centre including the indigenous medicine wheel and monarch butterfly gardens, and the Edmonton River Valley located directly in front of the hive.
Managed by professional beekeeper Patty Milligan of Lola Canola Honey, the hive produced 60 pounds of honey in the first year. The honey has a unique colour and taste, and is used by the culinary team in some of the nearly 250,000 meals served each year. In fact, a film crew has even travelled from as far as Japan to learn about the bees at the Shaw Conference Centre. They were recently featured on the Japanese Television Show, Bee World.