Alvéole helps people keep bees in the city.

Alveole Honey by Neighbourhood
Alvéole is a three year old Montreal-based social enterprise that’s expanding this spring to Toronto. What they do is set city folk up with a bee hive and help them manage it over the season until the harvest of honey. Blake Retter, who is managing Alvéole’s Toronto colonization (apologies: bad bee pun), is very excited to replicate the success the organization has met in Montreal, where they have installed and helped to manage over 400 hives.

“The city is a great place for bees to be,” Retter said over coffee recently. Retter explained that the pollinating bees were not only good for Toronto gardens and green space, but one of the fun things Alvéole has discovered is that honey from different neighbourhoods has different properties. City honey has terroir.

Alveole demonstrationRetter used to be a teacher, and sees the Alvéole mission in educational terms. Much of the program is about teaching not just beekeeping but the importance of bees to the ecosystem. Retter hopes the organizations programs might be expanded into schools, though the initial push this season is to sign-up interested urban dwellers. Anyone with a backyard or a balcony, or access to a rooftop can participate.

To find out more about Alvéole check out their website at

Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the company that publishes it. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.