Toby Bees

Creating Buzz & Pollinating Ideas

An innovative wilderness and wildlife enhancement project at Toby Creek Adventures

Toby Bees is a sustainability and legacy program which is designed to give back to our environment through the design, funding, construction and installation of Mason Bee, Bumble Bee and Honey Bee Hives in our operating area. Fostering and supporting bees will enhance the pollination of wild berries and wildflowers which in turn will strengthen bird, bat, rodent and bear populations and the entire ecosystem.

In the summer of 2017 Toby Creek Adventures commenced the Toby Bees initiative with the installation of bee hives.  The program will also include the installation of bat and bird nesting boxes in our wilderness area as well as purpose built den sites.  Our goal is to foster a thriving ecosystem that is built from the bees up.  As this program becomes established we look forward to sharing the process with you.  We plan to offer online and on-site educational, interpretive and observation opportunities for interested individuals and groups.

As a tasty bonus, the hives will also produce golden sweet wildflower honey which will eventually be available for our guests, visitors and locals to enjoy.

Why Bees?

Our lives – and the world as a whole – would be a much different place if bees didn’t exist. Bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide and approximately 400 different agricultural types of plant.

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part of the flower, the anther, to the stigma, which is the female part of the flower. Upon the two’s meeting, a plant’s seed, nut, or fruit is then formed.

Bees typically focus their energies on one species of plant at a time. By visiting the same flowers of a particular species in one outing, much higher quality pollination occurs – rather than spreading many different pollens to different plants which are not being pollinated, all plants of one species are getting an even distribution of vital pollen from others of its same species.

Pollinating flowers and contributing to the landscape may be the bees’ simplest and most aesthetically pleasing action.  But bee pollination goes further than that.  Bees perpetuate floral growth and provide attractive habitats for other animals such as insects and birds.

Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony collapse disorder is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.  The phenomenon was named colony collapse disorder in 2006 as scientists became aware of a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of bee colonies in North America.  The reasons for Colony Collapse is not yet fully understood but are thought to include pesticides and fungicides, climate change, poor beekeeping practices, malnutrition and even genetically modified crops.

Toby Bees is a 20 Year Legacy Project to benefit the environment and the community

The Toby Bees concept was devised by the owners of Toby Creek Adventures, Scott and Nicole Barsby.  2016 was our 20th year of continuous operation providing all-season interpretive back-country adventure tours for guests from all over the world.

In recognition of that landmark anniversary, Scott and Nicole had a desire to begin development of a legacy project to benefit the environment and the local community.  The Toby Bees concept was born during the short days of one of the coldest winters in many years.  Since then it has rapidly grown from inspiration to the point of launching the program in the summer of 2017.

Here at Toby Creek Adventures we hope that our Toby Bees program will create lots of buzz (literally) to strengthen the wilderness ecosystems in the Kootenay Rockies region that we love so much and, which is integral to our success.  It will be an educational program to teach visitors and locals about the importance of the interconnected relationships within ecosystems and how a creature as small as a honey bee can have such an important role to play in maintaining a sustainable and healthy environment.

We look forward to building creative partnerships with local beekeepers, first nations, government agencies, schools and universities, local communities,  regional visitors and guests as we develop and grow the program.  We are just starting to imagine the possibilities and we are keen to hear your ideas and suggestions.

As we get further into the program we will make legacy sponsorship opportunities available to enable people, businesses and organisations to become involved and participate by sponsoring hives, nests and dens.

We are excited and proud to be launching this innovative legacy initiative in the Toby Creek watershed of the Purcell Mountains, here in the Kootenay Rockies region of Beautiful British Columbia and we are so looking forward to the future success of the program.