A hearty honey harvest for a London, Ont., beekeeper has led to a sweet donation for a local non-profit.
St. Aidan’s Anglican Church’s Churchyard Bees handed over $7,577.40 to LUSO Community Services, a multicultural neighbourhood resource centre, after earning a surplus in profit following this year’s sales.
“This year, we (had) a nice hot summer, (and) we got a very good harvest,” said beekeeper Peter Andersen with Churchyard Bees.
Andersen said he had wanted to give back to the community for a few years, so when the surplus in sales came in, he knew it was time to choose an organization to support.
“My wife and I got talking about (what to do) with this surplus money. She let me know about LUSO,” the beekeeper explained.
“(She) reminded me of a program that was running in March (where) LUSO was feeding people out of portals, which we thought was a fantastic thing.”
“At a time where so many people are (worrying) about toilet paper (and) ‘how do I get stuff into my house to take care of my own?’ Across the city, we had people (feeding) the community, and I thought ‘what better place to give money to than that?’” Andersen recounted.
The timing of the donation was perfect, too.
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Leroy Hibbert, the Multicultural Outbreak Program coordinator with LUSO, says the program was supported by an organization for years, but they had to stop this year.
Just as the non-profit was worrying about how to keep the program alive, Churchyard Bees’ donation came in.
“It was very timely… it’s a blessing to us,” said Hibbert. “It’s nice that we’re able to continue this service and be a light and be a beacon for those who need some hope.”
LUSO’s Multicultural Outbreak Program works with students, staff and community members on the ideas of culture, race, ethnicity, building a community and working together, according to Hibbert.
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Andersen has been keeping bees at St Aidan’s for the past six years.
He’s proud of the locality of the honey and how harvests sweeten the community through donations such as this.
“It’s very good honey because the bees are within a five kilometre radius of the churchyard, which means they’re (close to) the Sifton Bog and lots of flower gardens,” he said.
“We like the local connection; the bees are local, we’re local. The entire product comes out of our neighbourhood in London.”
Those interested in learning more about LUSO can click here.
-With files from 980 CFPL’s Jess Brady
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