April 22, 2019


Montréal, April 22, 2019 – To celebrate Earth Day, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has committed itself to furthering its environmental protection efforts by establishing a partnership with Alvéole, a young Canadian company that merges beekeeping with education and local communities. In doing so, VIA Rail reiterates its commitment to the environment by branching out into a new area of environmental stewardship: contributing to the development of greener cities. This partnership with Alvéole involves the installation of beehives on the rooftops of four VIA Rail stations: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Québec City. By teaming up with Alvéole, VIA Rail aims to help raise awareness among urban populations of the decline of bees and the impact it has on the environment.

In the high season, each station will be home to two hives hosting up to 100,000 bees. Hives will be installed in May at the Vancouver station, and in June at the Winnipeg, Ottawa, Québec City stations. By the end of each season, the total output of all hives will allow for the production of 800 honeypots, 400 soap bars, 400 candles and 400 lip balms, which will be offered to charities in each of the cities. In the winter, the beehives will be closed to allow the bees to hibernate.

By promoting environmental awareness among urban populations, this partnership aligns with VIA Rail’s mission to help protect and preserve the environment. VIA Rail reiterates its commitment to sustainable mobility every day by working to reduce its carbon footprint, minimize waste and use resources efficiently. This new initiative enables VIA Rail to promote environmental awareness all while helping to offer a sustainably-sourced product to local organizations.

“Earth Day is an important day for VIA Rail. Our decisions are always guided by our desire to mitigate the impacts of our operations and of our passengers on the environment. While we see the importance in celebrating this annual event, we feel that every day is Earth Day at VIA Rail. It is through partnerships like the one with Alvéole that we are able to build the foundations of a conscientious and responsible society. This project has a significant educational component, aiming to reconnect urban populations with fauna and flora. Like our partners at Alvéole, we want to generate a positive and sustainable impact for future generations. These beehives are the symbol of our commitment to lead Canadians towards a more sustainable future.”

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail

"We’re delighted by our new partnership with VIA Rail, which will help to bring the interest that this environmental Canadian transport company has for education into the spotlight," says Alex Mclean, co-founder of the B Corp-certified social enterprise. "People of all ages and backgrounds transiting through Vancouver, Québec City, Ottawa and Winnipeg will benefit from education around bees, beekeeping, and issues related to industrial agriculture. At the end of the season, we hope that the bees at these four train stations will have fostered greater ecological awareness and put everyone on the right track for protecting our environment, as well as populations of pollinators from coast to coast. Plus, due to the fact that bees forage from the flora located within a five-kilometre radius of their hive, VIA Rail’s bees will produce honey specific to the stations where they live, reflecting the unique ecosystems that make up each of the four Canadian municipalities!”

About VIA Rail
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly 4.8 million passengers annually. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.