Watching the Bees Work

Growing up, my sister and I would often spend time with our grandfather, watching him tend his bees in southern Ontario. He was a second generation beekeeper and although my parents never took it up, my sister has been following suit. Recently, with her help, I also became an apiarist (fancy word for beekeeper). Last summer when my nephew was visiting, we suited up and I got to show him our humble hive. He was full of questions and I explained how much bees help preserve our ecosystems. When I was ready to go, my nephew sat on the grass and asked, “Can we stay and watch the bees work for a bit?” I was more than happy to oblige and hope one day he’ll keep a hive of his own.

Every April we present our annual Green Issue in honour of Earth Day, and this year we’re focusing on conservation. Dating back to the 17th century, nature conservation can be viewed as one of the earliest forms of environmentalism. From the Lakehead Regional Conservation Authority to Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, we profile various groups and individuals who are involved in conservation in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario in our cover story. Plus, Justin Allec talks to a local conservation officer and looks back at some of the history of the 127-year-old vocation, and we also feature a map of conservation areas.

Also as part of our annual green theme, sommelier Jeannie Dubois presents some ideas for organic drinks, beer judge Josh Armstrong provides some green practices for homebrewing, and film columnist Michael Sobota shares his picks for movies dealing with conservation.

This month also brings Canada’s national midget ice hockey club championship the TELUS Cup into Thunder Bay, Savanah Tillberg previews Magnus Theatre’s final production of the season Boeing Boeing, and Jolene Banning pens a touching tribute to Josephine Mandamin.

Hopefully, the organizations and individuals featured in our April issue will inspire and encourage you to find ways to help our environment. It might be as simple as planting a pollinator-friendly garden and watching the bees work.

-Adrian Lysenko