The Library's bee keeper checking the honeybee hive at Audley Branch.

As part of the Ajax Public Library’s ongoing efforts to support the Town of Ajax’s commitment to environmental literacy, the Audley Reading Garden, adjacent to the Audley Branch, will be hosting a honeybee hive starting June 14, 2023, until mid-September 2023. The hive is provided and maintained by Alvéole, a Montreal based social beekeeping firm.

The Library hive will have a dedicated beekeeper who will visit the Audley Branch every three weeks to maintain the hive and chat with interested staff and customers. To support this initiative, the Reading Garden will feature pollinator plants, vegetables and herbs this summer. Stay tuned for programs related to our new hive!

Visit the Library's MyHive page on Alvéole for bee updates!

Bee FAQ:

  • Populations of bees, butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinators are in rapid decline all over the world.
  • Bees pollinate more than 130 varieties of fruits and veggies around the globe — that’s a third of our food supply.
  • Urban beekeeping is a great way to educate customers to the crucial role of bees in food production and change their sense of responsibility towards the environment.
  • Audley Reading Garden will house 50,000-80,000 honeybees in their hive.
  • The Reading Garden hive will grow in height over the season: a new floor will be added as the bees fill each one with honey.
  • What about stings? Bees are not interested in humans as they die as soon as they sting. Stings only occur if they feel the hive is threatened. In particular, honeybees are a docile and non-aggressive species.

Can I interact with the bees? 

  • Please give the bees a bit of space to allow them to carry out their duties without interference.
  • Our hive has an entrance located at the front of the bottom box about six inches off the ground facing south. Bees will be entering and exiting the hive, carrying nectar or pollen, following their upward flight path.
  • If you want to give the hive entrance a closer look, it’s always best to approach a hive from the back or sides and avoid walking directly up to the entrance.
  • Bees may congregate at the entrance to the hive in the summer months in an effort to cool off.

For more information contact the Library's Coordinator of Community Engagement