Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guest Post: Toronto Bee Rescue - Saving Honeybees in Toronto, One Hive at a Time

Hi lovelies, Nicole here! I know it's super late in the season for this but, I really wanted to show support for a super cool business here in Toronto (that I just discovered). I've asked Sarah, of Toronto Bee Rescue, to write up a guest post and she was thrilled to do so. After meeting her in person and reading the below article, I had a million and one questions about bees and her business. There is definitely a lot of information over on their website and you can leave any questions that you may have below, she will be checking them and responding. I hope you enjoy! xo Nicole

Toronto Bee Rescue began by somewhat of an accident in 2011. My husband (Peter) and I wanted to get honeybee swarms for free, so we posted an advertisement on the internet for free removal of swarms. We soon began to get requests to remove hives from within people’s homes – in their walls, ceilings and other structures. With Peter’s beekeeping experience and our construction experience, we decided to offer honeybee hive removal service to the public.

You may be wondering how Peter convinced me to take up beekeeping. Well, it began innocently enough with an invitation to tag along for a swarm removal. I had been reading up on beekeeping, so I had gathered some fun facts that I was happy to share with anyone willing to listen. The homeowners, that had the swarm in their backyard, were interested in hearing more about honeybees, so I took the opportunity to share. I had a great time talking to them and sharing the importance of honeybees. After that, I decided to take the plunge and get some real hands on beekeeping experience.

I began by tagging along to hive checks and even helped with a few hive removals. I was having a great time getting the hands on experience with honeybees and meeting some really interesting people along the way. However, in the back of my mind, I kept wondering when the dreaded day would come that I would be stung. That one fateful day happened had come. As we were cleaning up a removal site, I was getting very comfortable with the bees and had already taken off all of my beekeeping protective gear. While loading the bee vacuum up into the trailer, I grabbed the vacuum hose without giving it a look-over and one little lady (males can’t sting, they don’t have stingers) was right under my hand and she let me know that she was not happy about it! There were definitely some curse words and I may have even uttered something along the lines of “Peter, how did you *expletive* convince me to get into this?!”. Poor Peter. Being the calm and totally understanding guy that he is, he calmly asked me “Did you get the stinger out yet?”. As my anger began to subside, and the venom continued to pump into my hand, I ask “What does a stinger look like?”. And that is when I learned what a stinger looks like and how to remove it (the quicker the better so that less venom gets pumped into you). I now have ninja-like speed after getting stung. Area is exposed, locate the stinger (with my bullseye vision) and scrape the stinger out with my nail (where the stinger meets the skin). Then high fives all around.

Beekeeping has not only allowed me to reconnect with nature and opened doors for me to so many new areas of interest (raising quail and permaculture anyone?), but it has also improved our marriage. Communication has never been better. There is nothing like telling your honey as they are bending over, bum exposed, “Watch out! There’s a bee about to crawl down your bum. Your pants are too low. Let me get that for you!”. While beekeeping, communication needs to be loud and actions need to be swift. Love for the bees and each other helps too, I guess.

Want to hear more about Toronto Bee Rescue and support their cause? Check out Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook .

Post written by Sarah Allinson-Chorabik of Toronto Bee Rescue.


  1. Haha love this post! As you might know I love bees so anything that helps bees is great in my books! Off to have a look on their website now :) thanks for sharing Nicole! x

  2. Great post! I will look into bee keeping! it seems fun

    Jennos Health.

  3. Wow, what an exciting experience! Great to see more people aware of how amazing bees truly are.

  4. Great post. I really enjoyed reading this x

    1. Thank you Karen! Sarah is a natural at this whole blogging thing xo


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