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Through the Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) and the Greenest City NSG, the Downtown Intercultural Gardeners Society (DIGS) has been able to acquire the necessary equipment to build two beehives for the DIGS/St. Paul’s Observational Beehive Project that will be located on the roof of the Providence Building at St. Paul’s Hospital. DIGS is an intergenerational, multiethnic group of predominantly downtown Vancouver residents who have operated a community garden on the rooftop of St. Paul’s Hospital over the past seven years. The funds from this grant have helped this project by contributing a large amount of funding towards the purchase of hives and hive equipment which will host two inaugural colonies.
Work on the infrastructure and fencing enclosure for the DIGS/St. Paul’s Observational Beehive Project is scheduled to begin this Winter so that the two beehives can be installed and populated by Spring 2019. Even at this preliminary stage of the overall project, the observational beehives have generated renewed interest amongst existing gardeners on pollination planting, will be providing opportunities for connection and volunteering as the installation approaches, skills development in maintaining the hives, and knowledge and information on ecology, the role of bees in the sustainable food chain, and small-scale urban agriculture.