Propolis: A Charity Dinner Benefiting Adolescent Apiculture Education

February 28, 2018

Campagnolo Roma, East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada


On Wednesday February 28th at 7pm enjoy a celebratory night of eating and drinking to raise money for Brian Saunders’s ‘Beekeeping 11’ program. The dinner will consist of 5 courses featuring honey from Raintown bees(Brian’s other project), alongside locally produced beverage pairings.

In addition to the dinner, Mark Winston, distinguished SFU bee researcher and Senior Fellow if the Wosk Center for Dialogue will be reading from his book, Bee Time, the winner of the Governor General’s award for non-fiction. Furthermore there will be a silent auction including a selection of honey and bee related products.

Campagnolo ROMA’s chef de cuisine Jessie McMillan first met Brian while cooking at a long table dinner at Fraser Common Farm in Aldergrove where Brian has a small apiary.

When Brian approached Campagnolo ROMA with the idea of doing a dinner using his honey to benefit the program, which teaches skills to young offenders at the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre it seemed like a natural fit.

“Any time we can increase awareness of, and connection to our foodsystems we have a responsibilty to do everything we can, especially when that education is directed to young people. This program has the added benefit of teaching important skills to potentially marginalized or disadvantaged kids which makes it that much more important for us to support” says Jessie McMillan of Campagnolo ROMA

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From Burnaby Now:

Brian Saunders took up beekeeping eight years ago and founded Raincity Beekeeping, a business with bees on the roof of a hotel in West End Vancouver and at an organic co-op in Aldergrove. In 2017 Saunders created a curriculum for ‘Beekeeping 11’, which was approved and has been implemented at Fraser Park Secondary, the district-run school at the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre.

Even if his Fraser Park students don’t take up beekeeping as a career, Saunders said research shows it’s a “very good activity for mental health and life skills for certain populations.”

Besides tending the bees outside, students spend some classroom time learning about the insect’s biology and life cycle as well as the diseases and parasites that threaten it.


The logistics of bringing certain programs to Fraser Park can get complicated, according to head teacher Tom Cikes.

Not all students can mix in every program, for example, but Cikes said he was on board with the beekeeping course from the beginning.

“As many programs as we can integrate here to keep the students interested, it just keeps them from wandering in different directions that we don’t want them to wander,” Cikes said.

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