There’s a buzz around OPSEU head office these days and we couldn’t bee more pleased.
This summer, we partnered with the GTA’s Bee Company to install 10 hives on the roof of our Toronto head office. It’s early days, but so far things are looking good. The population of these hives has now swelled to about 350,000. We’ve also put some at our Niagara regional office and will soon expand to include our Kingston regional office.
You may be asking yourself: why the interest in bees?
It’s because it’s a responsible thing to do. OPSEU is more than just a union, we also care about our communities and our planet. Bees are an integral part of both community and the environment around us.
I grew up on a farm where we had bee colonies. I know the important role they play in not only making our surroundings ripe with beautiful colours and wonderful fragrances, but to our literal survival. If humans fell off the face of the Earth, the planet would continue to survive. If bees die so does this planet. That’s how important they are. So we at OPSEU are doing our best to ensure there is a healthy bee population.
By next year, we expect to have some honey as a result of these hives. We plan to use it in a fun but also serious manner, using the message of Bee the Change: Be OPSEU.
Action is important. I’ve often sat around the dinner table with family and friends and sometimes they will complain about things they are unhappy about. I usually tell them: “It’s one thing to complain, but what are you actually doing about it?”
We at OPSEU don’t just complain, we also come up with solutions. Whether that is staring across a bargaining table with Mr. Ford or fighting for workers’ rights or trying to preserve our environment. We will never be taken seriously if all we do is complain.
This bee initiative of ours will hopefully encourage people who also have ideas to take action, and more importantly that we can all play a part in protecting our ecosystem. It is our job to support each other as we strive to take care of our families, communities, and our environment. Keeping Ontario healthy and strong, after all, is at the heart of everything we at OPSEU do.
We hope that our bees encourage you, members and non-OPSEU members alike, to do more, and take action in your workplaces and communities – whether it’s protecting bees or workers.
Let’s also support bee populations everywhere and the important work they do. You can do this by planting nectar-rich flowers like lavender, sunflower, coneflower, lilac and crocus – to name just a few.
BEE the change; Be OPSEU!
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
Ontario Public Service Employees Union