Bee Time

My mum and I met Mark Winston two years ago, after our first season of keeping bees on East Hastings. In the synchronous way that things so often work, I had been referred to him by a co-worker in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) community and didn’t yet know what I had stumbled upon. We were seeking support after realizing we had something special in our Therapeutic Beekeeping program, that it provided meaningful opportunities, self worth and hope. We were looking for partners and sponsors; we found a mentor.

Mark is an Academic Director and Fellow at SFU Woodwards Centre for Dialogue, and has had a distinguished career as a beekeeper, training, mentoring, researching and beekeeping with almost everyone you come across in the bee world. You can read more about him on his blog,

Mark is a listener. Since our first meeting he has offered his support and counsel, introducing and connecting us within his network  and expanding ours. He has facilitated Bee Behaviour workshops in our DTES Apiaries, working alongside our community beekeepers with the same calm manner and respect he shows for the bees and everyone he encounters.

On Thursday Oct 2 Mark launched his new book, Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, at the Fairmont Waterfront, site of one of the first green rooftop apiaries in Vancouver and partners of ours since Mark introduced us last year.

The book launch included a honey tasting, a viewing of the Farimont’s recent bee video, A Magical Day in the Hastings Urban Farm with Hives for Humanity, words from the Fairmont’s Bee Butler Michael King, a presentation of our story, an introduction by John Gibeau of the Honey Bee Centre, and the main event, a reading by Mark followed by a book signing.

The room was filled with Mark’s family, friends and co-workers, his beekeeper colleagues, and the Hives for Humanity team and partners. It was a celebration of  community, of bees and people, brought together around the hive.

Mark is doing another reading at Chapters on Robson Thursday 9th at 7:00pm and I highly recommend heading down to listen to him read and pick up a signed copy of this book, which is a culmination of 40years of work with honeybees!

Mark speaks to the heart of what I believe about the importance of food in community, and the way that honey connects us to ourselves, each other and the land: “Food at its best carries memories and reflections that go beyond sustenance to connect the personalities who harvest and the land from which they gather, making holy the simple act of eating.”


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