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Montréal Buzzes with Beekeepers' Conference

Creating a Buzz, Apimondia 2019 Set to Convene in Montréal

The Palais des congrès de Montréal and the Canadian Honey Council will be hosting Apimondia 2019, the 46th Apicultural Congress of the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations. Organizers anticipate the event will attract over 8,000 delegates from all over the world to Montréal, contributing some $20.5 million to Montréal’s and Québec’s economy. Selecting Canada as a host destination for this prestigious event was a victory for the Canadian scientific community and beekeeping stakeholders.

“The competition is such that it renders the bidding process aimed at bringing international conventions of this scope to Montréal more complex. The Palais and its partners rolled out a series of strategic actions to persuade Apimondia’s 123 voting members that Montréal and the Palais were their best choice for hosting a successful congress in 2019,” said Raymond Larivée, the former President and CEO of the Société du Palais des congrès de Montréal, at the time the bid was awarded to Montréal.

Mobilizing the World’s Beekeeping Community
The support from the Canadian beekeeping community was instrumental in winning Apimondia 2019 for Montréal. Pierre Giovenazzo, President of the Bid Committee and Apiculture Researcher at the Deschambault animal science research centre, noted: “Canada is a global leader in apiculture research and development. We have so much to share with the world’s beekeeping community.” Indeed, Canada has some 750,000 colonies of bees, most concentrated in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Québec where honeybee pollination is critical input for many agricultural commodities. Research labs at the Canadian Honey Council, the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, and the Université Laval, Guelph University, Dalhousie, York University, the University of Calgary, and others, are all working toward developing and maintaining healthy bee populations. It's just such science-based innovations that will be presented during poster sessions and workshops during Apimondia 2019. 

Carmen Pierce, a 3rd-generation beekeeper from Canberra, Australia, attended a previous Apimondia conference in South Korea. “My family and I very much enjoyed Apimondia and think we will use attending the conferences as an excuse to travel more. It was lovely to see the city decorated in Apimondia banners and flags. It was welcoming and fun,” she said about her trip.

Thousands of researchers and beekeepers like Pierce will have the opportunity to discover Montréal in September 2019, and of course participate in enriching workshops, conferences and technical tours: “We are constantly aspiring to produce excellent honey, so hearing the latest information about how to do this was incredibly helpful and interesting,” said Pierce.

In addition to learning the latest scientific developments in beekeeping and crop pollination, delegates will take part in apiEXPO and technical tours of Intermiel, an 8,000 hive apiary, Miels d’Anicet processors of gourmet honey and cosmetic products, and Montréal Honey, the city’s urban beekeeping co-op.    

The Palais des Congrès de Montréal’s Urban Agriculture Lab

Perhaps there was no more apt location to host the 46th Apimondia, as the Palais des congrès de Montréal is home to some 50,000 buzzing pollinators in three hives on the Palais’ rooftop urban farm. The VERTical Project is a 6,000 sq. ft. innovative urban farm aimed at greening the city’s rooftops to fight against heat islands and to increase the density of garden production. Herbs, leafy vegetables, strawberries and edible flowers are all grown on the rooftop, and served on the Palais’ banquet menus.