'Brandon University has teamed up with Bee City Brandon to present an art exhibit celebrating bees, butterflies, birds, and other pollinators that can be found in Brandon and Western Manitoba. The exhibit features 58 pieces of art created or donated by residents of Westman, making the exhibit’s title particularly apt: Brandon {heart} Bees,' states BU's most recent news release. 

'The 58 pieces of art range from drawings created by students at Maryland Park School, to digital photographs, to needlework, and more. Each piece of art emphasizes the beauty and necessity of bees and other pollinators, many of which are in decline in Manitoba and globally. Some of the art also draws attention to the City of Brandon’s campaign to “create a buzz for Ukraine” by growing sunflowers, a plant that attracts and feeds bees.' 

'Brandon {heart} Bees also includes a wealth of information about Bee City Brandon and about pollinators native to the prairies. Bee City Brandon is a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation and promotion of native pollinators in Brandon. The committee is designated by Bee City Canada and is a sub-committee of Nature Manitoba. Interspersed between the artworks are bee-autiful posters full of information about different types of bees, about other pollinators such as birds, flies, and beetles, and about the types of plants that pollinators love.'    

“It’s exciting to see the people of Brandon and Western Manitoba come together to celebrate bees through art,” said Sherry Punak-Murphy, chair of Bee City Brandon. “We hope that many people visit the exhibit at Brandon University to be inspired by the art and to learn more about the plants, insects, and animals that are so essential to our ecosystem.” 

Melanie Sucha, Chief Information Officer at Brandon University, collaborated with Bee City Brandon to create the exhibit at the Tommy McLeod Curve Gallery. 

“Brandon University takes pride in being a regional university and a part of the Westman Community,” Sucha said. “This exhibition serves to celebrate both the accomplishments of artists in our community and the natural environment in which we learn and live together.” 

Brandon University recently became “Bee U” when it installed two honey bee hives on the roof of their Harvest Hall building. The university is proud to host the first urban honeybee hives in Brandon, viewable through a pair of “bee-noculars” located on the second floor Solarium of the John E. Robbins Library. The Brandon {heart} Bees exhibit turns the public's collective attention to native pollinators and their vital role on the Canadian prairies. 

The 5-year-pilot-project, aptly named 'Bee U', aims to provide significant benefit to Brandon’s biodiversity and to the bee population. The launch of the two hives in May will eventually expand to a maximum of four hives, together with a nucleus hive.  The hives will be set up, maintained and removed by a registered Manitoba beekeeper who will also train BU members in how to care for the bees.  The hives will be removed in mid to late August to return to their apiary for the winter.

Brandon {heart} Bees is also supported by Shoppers Mall and the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, and the exhibit runs until September 19, 2022. The John E. Robbins Library is open to all, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Monday to Friday, and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. 

VISIT the Brandon University website to learn more about the Bee research project at: 

Bee-U | Brandon University