By Rose Marie Bresolin
Find out more about the buzzing bee and the importance of the lowly dandelion, here and in the print issue in the Spring. Here’s a sneak preview:
I recently visited Circling Hawk Farm, situated in the middle of the Polo for Heart spread at Bloomington Rd and the 404. I used to enjoy my time riding across that wonderful expanse, and after a long absence, my friend Michele and I were walking the grounds together. Surprised at finding myself looking out onto a large apiary, I asked Michele what had motivated the change in land use.
From the documentaries I had seen, I was already aware of the problems being faced by bees, as chemicals pollute the flowers that bees typically pollinate – the lowly dandelion for one. While it didn’t surprise me to hear that this raised concern in Michele, I also understood the time commitment demanded of such an undertaking. I was curious to learn how Michele and her engineer husband Gregg were managing to keep a balance in their lives.
Michele: We love it all. We’re blessed to have this 25 acre slice out of the centre of the Toronto Polo Club that belongs to the Sifton Family, the owners of Buttonville airport. While we continue to keep horses on our farm, we also grow horse hay, Haskap, Blueberry and of course lots of honeybees.
Gregg: The large structure you see behind our home was initially built as a horse-riding arena. For a while we considered fish farming but when that became a challenge, we rethought our plan. When you look around, you can see that Michele and I are all about the environment, so the choice to slide our focus to growing and producing honeybees was an easy one. We grow honeybees for honey production, and we also sell bees to backyard beekeepers.
As I drove off, I realized that I had walked among bees without being stung. With a history to the contrary, I was surprised at how easily I had taken on the risk. I put that to the atmosphere that Gregg and Michele create. You feel that sense of time stopping from the moment you drive in, and as though a clock resets, you find you’re walking to a different drum.
For more information, visit their website: www.circlinghawkfarm.ca