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Vale donates honey from slag pile apiary to Sudbury Food Bank

Contribution comes in recognition of World Bee Day

The Sudbury Food Bank got a sweet treat from nickel miner Vale on May 20.

Timed to coincide with World Bee Day, Vale donated 650 jars of honey to the community service group, which was harvested from the apiary kept on the company's Sudbury-area property.

Twenty-five beehives are kept at the nickel miner's regreened slag hills and greenhouse in the community of Copper Cliff, just west of the city proper.

“Our bee colonies have produced an exceptional amount of honey in the past year and we are pleased to donate it to the Sudbury Food Bank,” Quentin Smith, the environmental projects engineer responsible for Vale’s beekeeping in Sudbury, said in a news release.

“At the same time, we’d like to raise awareness about World Bee Day and the importance role bees play in biodiversity as pollinators.”

The United Nations declared May 20 as World Bee Day in 2017 to raise awareness of the importance of bees to the global ecosystem.

Bees are significant pollinators – for food and flowers – but their populations have been threatened in recent years due to environmental impacts.

Vale first established its beekeeping project in 2014 as part of an overarching biodiversity action plan designed to enhance its reclamation efforts on old slag piles.

In addition to beekeeping, the company has cultivated milkweed to attract butterflies, planted thousands of trees annually, and raised and released fish as part of a local fish-stocking program.

These efforts earned Vale an Environmental Excellence Award under the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM), a program of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, in 2018.

Honey donated to the Sudbury Food Bank will be distributed to the organization's member agencies, which support 8,500 people every month.