Teaching Beehive

Our teaching beehive at the Eastside Branch provides plenty of learning opportunities. Enjoy watching the bees at work, exploring our nature space, and programs and workshops about environmental stewardship.

A close up of a slat full of bees and honey from the beehive at the Eastside Branch
MyHIve graphic


Visit our bees’ online profile, MyHive, to see how they’re doing, discover their foraging range and check out photos, videos and when our beekeeper will be visiting.

Visit MyHive

Bee Programs

Buzz into one of our programs to discover the fascinating world of bees and their vital role in our ecosystem. We typically hold programs focused on urban beekeeping, honey production and bee-related products during summer and fall.

Find Upcoming Programs
Participants make beeswax candles

Bee Informed

Learn more about our hive, urban beekeeping and the safety protocols for keeping a working beehive in our Naturespace.

  • Advantages of Urban Beekeeping

    Honey bees are just one of a number of pollinators like butterflies, bumble bees and wild bees with whom we already share our urban space.

    Urban beekeeping creates the opportunity to educate citizens about the environment, repurpose unused spaces within our cities and produce hyper-local honey.

  • Bee Safety

    Coexisting with bees in our environment is easy and natural, there are just a few best practices to keep in mind when working around a beehive.

    Honey bees are very docile, focused mainly on bringing floral resources back to their colony. Bees are not aggressive, but they can be defensive, and it’s best to 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. You may notice bees congregating here in the summer months in an effort to cool off. It’s at this entrance that you’ll likely see bees entering and exiting the hive, carrying nectar or pollen, following their upward flight path.

    We ask that you always stay 5 feet back from the hive entrance.

  • Honey Production

    Each year, the hive will produce 100 jars of local artisan honey! Flowers and other pollinator plants affect the taste and colour of the honey. Experience the sweetness of the wildflowers within Waterloo.

    Honey produced from the hive will be used in programs and other library events.

  • Alvéole - Urban Beekeepers

    Since 2013, the Alvéole hive has been a hub of innovation. The journey began with a trio of childhood friends who envisioned a new approach to beekeeping: rather than one person managing 1,000 honey bee hives, why not unite 1,000 individuals around a single hive? Now spanning over 60 cities globally, Alvéole installs nature-based installations and promotes environmental consciousness, urging businesses to enact tangible measures to safeguard pollinators and cultivate more bee-friendly urban environments.

    Learn More