Bee Library and DTES Seed Library Launch

In partnership with the Carnegie Branch Vancouver Public Library we launched two small libraries on August 6th: The Bee Library and The DTES Seed Library!

The Bee Library is dedicated to the memory of Neil Benson, a community gardener who cared for the bees and the people of the gardens he tended, a defender of habitat, a poet and a friend. Neil passed away July 28th 2014 and is deeply missed. There is a maple tree planted in his honour at the Hastings Folk Garden for anyone wishing to pause and say a few words.

The Bee Library is a growing collection of books on bees and other pollinators that are available to borrow from the Carnegie Library. The Carnegie is beautiful, for anyone who hasn’t visited before, it’s Vancouver’s oldest Public Library, and the staircase winds up the floors past stained glass windows of authors and poets.

Mark Winston of SFU Woodward’s Centre for Dialogue read three pieces from his upcoming book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive sharing 1) his first experience of beekeeping, falling in love with the feel of little bee claws climbing your arm and bee tongues licking your skin; 2) his experience of the way that community builds around a bee hive, bringing folks together around gardens, bees and honey; and 3) the sense of belonging, so important to human health, that the bees create.

After the readings we enjoyed honey and fried bread and meeting all the folks who came out to the launch! It was a great night and we are very proud of the collaborative community work that has produced these libraries.

The DTES Seed Library was the inspiration of Jim McLeod (read more about Jim over at Beekeepers&Gardeners). Jim attended a talk on seed bombing, guerrilla gardening and seed saving a few years back that was hosted by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement as part of their Super Cool Tuesday Series (super cool, contemporary artist talks at the InterUrban Gallery). When the opportunity came up to apply for a Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grant this year, Jim thought: DTES Seed Library! Teaming up with Andrea Creamer from SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the Carnegie VPL, after a successful Vancouver Foundation Greenest City Small Neighbourhood Grant application, with support from Hives for Humanity, with art from Richard Tetrault on the way, and with a whole lot of seed saving still to go, the DTES Seed Library is now open!

When you are browsing the Bee Library you can also look through our seed collection and borrow seeds for all kinds of pollinator friendly flowers, veg and herbs! All of the seeds are collected and saved by volunteers, donated by community members, gardeners, friends and families. You can bring your seeds to the Hastings Urban Farm and we will catalogue them and add them into the collection!



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