Bee City Canada and Bentall Kennedy’s Partnership Nets Marketing Award

Bee City Canada and Bentall Kennedy’s Partnership Nets Marketing Award

2016 ICSC Maple Leaf Gold Award

We were very happy to hear that our friends at Bentall Kennedy received the 2016 International Council of Shopping Center’s Maple Leaf Gold Award for their work promoting pollinator health. The company’s ‘Bee Friendly’ campaign, which ran during Earth Week, included activities in malls across Toronto to educate visitors about pollinators and promote Toronto as a Bee City. We caught up with Domenic Imbesi, who was instrumental in this campaign, to ask him about Bentall Kennedy’s commitment to helping pollinators and how this is shaping employee attitudes towards a more pollinator-friendly lifestyle.

How has your experience been working with Bee City Canada?

Awesome! I’m really content that Bee City Canada approached us with the opportunity to commence a partnership.

We’ve established a great business relationship. Shelly Candel, Director, is humble and very professional. Gillian Leitch, Program Director, is passionate and very appreciative of our efforts. Together the energy devoted to this cause by this “two-person” team mimics the work and functions of a “Bee Hive” (pardon the pun) . Bee City Canada’s social responsibility values truly align with our corporate values and for this reason I think we were able to foster a successful partnership.

Do you think about things differently now that you know more about pollinators?

Yes! I feel I can be an ambassador and help to raise awareness about this important environmental concern. Prior to meeting with Bee City Canada, I was not educated in this area. Bee City Canada helped me to become more aware of this crisis. I find myself now wanting to learn more about this issue. The topic now comes up often in discussions with my personal friends and at family gatherings.

What impact has the partnership with Bee City Canada had on the company?
To be one of the first companies to support Bee City Canada is an honour. Our “Bee Friendly” public awareness campaign has allowed us to practice one of our core objectives – to better the communities our shopping centre portfolios serve.

Our staff is now intrigued and motivated and are encouraged to be more sustainable in their day to day functions. Truly a viral positive effect!

Living With Bees and Wasps

Living With Bees and Wasps

Often, wasps are the stinging culprits and bees get blamed. While bees are better at it, wasps are pollinators too.

If an insect has stung you, and at any time, you feel it is becoming difficult to breathe, call an ambulance or go directly to the emergency room.

Most of the time, your reaction will be minimal or absent (especially if you have never been stung by that type of insect before). Often times it will hurt immediately for a very short period and may begin to swell or swelling may develop later that day or the next.

If you have been stung on a finger on which you wear a ring, take the ring off before swelling develops.

Stings can bring down you blood pressure, do not drive a vehicle or otherwise exert yourself if possible. Eat something, especially something sweet and drink some water. Be conscious of your surroundings and assess whether you feel faint.

Look into the bee, wasp, ant allergy test if you suspect your child has shown signs of an allergy, and then always carry the epi-pen if they do.

If you feel you are having an anaphylactic reaction, use your epi-pen or ask the manager of the space if they have one.

After using an epi-pen go directly to an emergency room for further essential treatment.

If you give a child antihistamine for a sting, be sure to continue to monitor for breathing issues, which might require epinephrine.

Bee Stings

Remove the stinger with your nail to prevent further venom being released. Wash the area and put ice on it to reduce the swelling. Take an anti-inflammatory if you have had a bee sting before and worry about the area becoming swollen. Take an antihistamine if you have had a sting in the past that brought on allergic symptoms you want to avoid.

Any clothing the stinger may have touched should be washed, as this could have been marked with the alarm pheromone and cause future stings if there is more than one bee present. This is highly unlikely unless you have opened a Honey Bee hive or are standing in front of the entrance to one.

Wasp Stings

The stinger will not be an issue, just put ice on it to reduce the swelling and take an antihistamine or anti-inflammatory if you have had a sting in the past that brought on allergic symptoms you want to avoid.

Bees and Wasps live in our Gardens

Pollinators have very important functions within habitats, as all creatures of the planet do. Learning how to live with them again may be just the thing to save us both.

Most of our bees live in ground nests along with many wasps. Some bees live in cavities in buildings and plants and some wasps make hives in trees and on structures.

If you follow their behaviour at a few times during the day you will learn a lot about them.

If you see bee habitation, repurpose the areas or alter the landscape (think like a bee!) only after the bees have gone to bed (watch for them returning sometime before twilight). They can dig their way out but won’t find a hole you have covered up.

Water and mulch the areas you don’t want ground nesters living in (like high traffic areas around doors and stairs).

Find some areas that you don’t mind them inhabiting and leave those spaces alone, don’t mulch or water them and don’t create paths in front of them.

Find the safest way of dealing with the situation for you and the pollinator by answering these questions:


Is it a bee or a wasp?
Identify distinctive shapes, colours, sounds, markings and behaviours.


What flowers/plants do they tend to pollinate, what other duties do they have in the ecosystem (many wasps feed on ‘pest’ species).

What are they looking for to eat at this time the year.

What is it about their behaviour that is bothering you.


What times of the season are they more defensive.

When are they looking for a home vs. feeding.

What is their lifespan, how long will they occupy a nest,

When is it best to try to remove a nest or deter them from making one.


Where do they live, what are their habits

Where can we expect to see them

What do we bring into the garden to attract them to us? (Pop and juice, fallen fruit, garbage)


Signs and signals they might give before stinging us, places we can be and expect to get stung, or actions we do to cause a sting (waving arms quickly, swatting)

How can you change the way you use the space to reduce conflict.

Based on the information given, students can then answer why.

Why do bees and wasps sting? (Answer: As a defense mechanism)

When Bees or Wasps are Bugging You

Share the importance of being calm and still when one comes close.

Make the wasp dizzy, spread your fingers wide, and rotate your hands (like you are turning a large doorknob), or twirl away from the area, leaving them confused and unable to follow you.

Wear long sleeve shirts and pants when in the garden for long hours and If bees or wasps are hanging around you, consider tying up long hair to prevent them from getting tangled.

Wasps are attracted to our food

Keep food or sugary drinks covered; remove snacks or fallen fruit (keep area clean of garbage and animal feces).

Burn incense like sage smudge (or use a beekeeper’s smoker with pine needles) to distract and confuse them (while barbequing, especially in the fall when wasps are more urgently packing away food stores and want meat, they are carnivorous, bees are vegans).

Wasps Nests

Place a brown paper bag in the garden to deter wasps from setting up a hive close by in a tree or on a building.

If small enough to cut off, try to re-site a wasp hive in a less busy area. Use a bee suit, gloves and boots.

If you can’t wait for the end of their nesting season in the Fall, cover the nest opening (watch where they come and go from and see if there are obvious holes) with soil and a large pot, then mulch around the pot. Do this at night when they have gone to bed.

If there are mice in the area they are likely borrowing a burrow. If you don’t remove it, in the Fall they will abandon it and not use it again the next year, nor will other wasps inhabit the area next year.

River of Pollinators Art and Poetry Exhibition

River of Pollinators Art and Poetry Exhibition

Call for art and poetry submissions from students for a juried art exhibition.

Submissions: September 7th, 2016 to June 11th, 2017
Exhibition: June 18th to 24th, 2017

Students of all ages are invited to submit poetry, prose and work in painting, drawing, sculpture, digital art, photography, or new media that responds to, intersects with, or is enriched by a love of Pollinators and Water.

Are you drawn to channel your love of Nature into art? Share this with us for our online gallery!

If your work represents a love of Nature we would love to share it, submissions are not limited to a focus on Pollinators and Water, everything is connected!

There will be a juried selection for special mention with prizes and a show of all the work in Toronto during Pollinator Week, June 18th-24th, 2017.

Email submissions to [email protected]

Bentall Kennedy is ‘Bee Friendly’

Bentall Kennedy is ‘Bee Friendly’

The Bee Friendly Campaign was another example where Bentall Kennedy has proven their commitment to being a good neighbour. Cloverdale Mall, Eglinton Square Shopping Centre & 10 Dundas East, proudly managed by Bentall Kennedy (Canada) Limited Partnership, have banded together to educate shoppers.

“Pollinators such as bees are vital to a healthy and resilient ecosystem, and are important to the sustainability of Toronto’s natural areas and urban gardens.”, indicated Domenic Imbesi, Regional Director Marketing, Bentall Kennedy. “The Bee Friendly public awareness campaign celebrates Toronto as the first bee city and we are proud to be Bee City Canada’s first corporate supporters.”

Bentall Kennedy also produced this fun and informative video to celebrate their Bee Friendly campaign and highlight the company’s efforts to promote pollinator health.

Bee Friendly

Welcome Canadore College, Our First Bee City Campus

Welcome Canadore College, Our First Bee City Campus

Candore College West Parry Sound Campus has become the first Bee Campus in Canada!

The Parry Sound and Area Community Apiary was established on the Parry Sound campus and will be used for Canadore beekeeping-related programing, as well as serve as an educational resource for primary and secondary school teachers, the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, the Horticultural Society and other groups. The apiary was made possible through funding received from TD Friends of the Environment and Crofter’s Organic.

Canadore Plant List