Honey producer gets sweet deal after bees found on stop sign in Whitby, Ont.

Click to play video: 'Swarm of bees leads to boost in business for honey producer' Swarm of bees leads to boost in business for honey producer
WATCH: A Clarington business owner can hardly bee-lieve it after a swarm of bees found on a stop sign, led to the purchase of more than 120 jars of honey. – Jun 2, 2020

A neighbourhood in Whitby, Ont., is buzzing with excitement after the discovery of thousands of honey bees on a local stop sign.

A swarm of more than 40,000 honey bees stopped on a sign at the intersection of George Holley Street and Little Beck Crescent — an alarming discovery at first to people living there.

“The bees were just all over the stop sign and even that pole,” says Chantal Sammons who lives in the area.

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The insects appeared to make a temporary stop with their queen while on a journey to find a new place to call home.

“At first we were scared, but then we realized what they were and just wanted to keep everyone away,” she said.

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The location called Queen’s Commons is a recent development in the area, with new homes being built. One of the local construction workers called a beekeeper to collect the bees and bring them somewhere safe.

“It was interesting; they used this vaccum-type thing and appeared to just suck them up,” said Sammons.

The thousands of bees were then taken to a local apiary, and honey producer named ‘Kiss My Bees Honey’ in the Clarington, Ont., area.

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Owner Joanne Poirier placed them in a new hive and says they are doing just fine. She thought that was it, but then got a peculiar phone call from one of the neighbours who found the bees.

“They wanted to buy honey. Anything that came from the hive, they wanted to purchase it,” said Poirier.

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But it was how many jars they wanted that was a shock to the business owner. The tight-knit neighbourhood arranged to buy more than 120 jars of the sweet stuff as a way to help out the struggling business owner during these tough times.

“The excitement and the passion of that neighbourhood has really brought me to tears over the last week,” she said.

“It’s just been wonderful.”

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Poirier has been running the business for more than 10 years now. She says with the closure of most farmers markets, she has seen a decline in sales of more than 50 per cent since the pandemic began — something the Whitby residents wanted to help with.

“Our community has come together so nicely,” says Sammons.

“We’re just so happy to be supporting a small business, a local business.”

Sammons says the beekeeper is even letting them create the label. It will include a pun on the street names George ‘Honey’ Street and Little ‘Bee’ Crescent.

The honey producer, Poirier, has been doing curbside service, but says an order like this will help her get through the season — a unique sale she won’t soon forget.

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“Gratitude, man. Sincere, honest gratitude,” says Poirier.

“I’m going to get emotional but absolutely.”


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