Bee Project Creates Buzz

Bee Project Creates Buzz

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 12:00pm


Home to country singer Shania Twain and Porcupine Gold Mine (PGM) - North America’s longest continually operating gold mine - Timmins, Ontario is also a city helping to replenish continental bee colonies in partnership with Goldcorp.

14 years ago, bees were released at PGM to pollinate the area’s plants and flowers as part of reclamation plans. By 2010, efforts were stepped up to counter dwindling bee populations. Former miner Rene Bertrand and his wife Joanne Besner supplied the hives, equipment and know-how, with ongoing assistance from Goldcorp, including the installation of a solar-powered fence to keep bears at bay.

In return, Mother Nature presented a sweet reward. 

For the past four years, Bertrand and Besner have grown the honey project into an enterprising business that produces, pasteurizes and bottles Liquid Gold. The couple sells the popular honey locally, and gifted 500 jars to Goldcorp for continued support. It’s a win-win-win outcome for everyone: bees thrive, reclamation projects blossom, and Bertrand and Besner profit from work that is also their passion.

Meanwhile, customers enjoy a tasty, local product with natural goodness. “I have my honey analyzed,’ says Bertrand. “People said that eating honey from a former tailings area is unsafe. Well, it came back completely good to go.” He adds that community benefits go beyond honey. “Goldcorp does good work here in Timmins. They support our business and help the environment. The area [abandoned by previous miners] was a mess before, and they came in now plants are growing and it’s really beautiful.”

Timmins continues to generate buzz with ongoing news coverage and a production company planning to film a documentary on the current climate threat to bees. With the effect of longer, colder winters on colony populations, innovative efforts by the Timmins Ecological Beekeeping Association and Goldcorp have worked to protect bees with special trial-research hives.

Learn more about Goldcorp’s commitment to leave a lasting environmental legacy for generations to come by checking our blog updates regularly. 

CATEGORY: Environment