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What’s the buzz about bees at Saint B’s?

Shirley Nadeau

Beekeeper Gabriel Gagnon Anctil shows residents how the bees make honey in their hive at St. B’s. (Photo by Stephanie Brushett)

Have you heard the buzz....? Saint Brigid’s Home is now housing honey bees in the back garden!

Jennifer Robert, president of Saint Brigid’s Guild, explained, “We started the initiative last year with a very well-known company called Alvéole. We have teamed up with the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) at Saint Brigid’s, and Anaïs McKay is helping us co-ordinate the project.”

McKay, the social innovation facilitator at Saint Brigid’s, explained, “It’s an initiative that emerged between the B’Hive Collective and the Guild when Myriam Gaudreault was the co-ordinator. With her, we always envisioned great and ambitious projects in order to make Saint Brigid’s a really nice place to live, to visit and work.

“The B’Hive Collective is a research, development and innovation initiative that grew out of the partnership between Jeffery Hale–Saint Brigid’s and Jeffery Hale Community Partners, where several professionals collaborate to improve health and community services to Quebec City's English-speaking community.”

McKay continued, “One of the first intentions of this collective was to enhance the sense of belonging to the living environment that is Saint Brigid’s, according to the traditions and values that were in place before the merger with the CIUSSS, such as the importance of community engagement, compassion and care.

“Since the B’Hive offices were at Saint Brigid’s, we ‘busy bees’ – as we like to call ourselves – thought it was important to preserve a gentle, homey feeling to Saint B’s. For us, honey was a symbolic and mobilizing way to achieve that, a project from which everybody will benefit – residents, employees, volunteers and caregivers. Who doesn’t enjoy honey!

“Also,” she said, “on a bigger and more pragmatic scale, since the B’Hive Collective is working hard on the development of the ‘Saint Brigid’s Campus,’ we believe it’s crucial to think about small but effective actions related to sustainable development. We felt that having beehives was a nice contribution to the Memory Garden and continuity to the nature that surrounds Saint B’s and McGreevy Manor.

“The B’Hive also proposed the services of the company Alvéole, since they offer nice quality service and a lot of educational tools teaching about the necessity of bees in our existence. The various products processed by Alvéole at the end of the season (jars of honey, candles, lip balm, and soap) will be sold under the Guild’s brand and will highlight what is happening at Saint Brigid’s. Our first batch of honey will be delivered on Sept. 29.”

To learn more about Alvéole, visit

Marie-Christine Beaulieu, who is part of the Bee team at Saint Brigid’s Home, sports her B-shirt. (Photo by Stephanie Brushett)

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