Pilot Project Puts Bee Hotels Up By Montreal Digital Billboards

May 20, 2021 by Dave Haynes

It is World Bee Day, and to mark it and generate some buzz (sorry) about the critical importance of bees to food supplies, the Canadian media company Pattison is working with the almond milk company Silk on an out of home program that includes putting up bee hotels at select highway billboards around Montreal.

The next boxes are being installed at 10 billboards in a pilot project with a research team from Université de Montréal. “As part of an environmental approach to biodiversity, this pilot project aims to study solitary bee populations and pollination at newly installed nest boxes at ten select billboard locations across Montréal,” says Pattison in its PR announcing the partnership.

Throughout the summer, Silk’s colourful Out-of-Home campaign will house solitary bee nesting boxes, made locally by Atelier Zabie, a company in Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec. The purpose of the boxes is to allow pollinators to lay their eggs.

“By placing some of the nest boxes near flowerbeds, we will be able to collect some data. This pilot project will help better understand the environmental characteristics that influence the presence of urban pollinators. The idea is to monitor bees during the summer and then, in the fall, collect straws – the birth cells for the bees – with larvae and pupae in order to identify their content. The goal is to determine which species use these nest boxes and to study the rate of parasitism they contain, depending on their location, proximity to flowerbeds, their elevation, and other factors. The data collected during this pilot project could, in a second phase, lead to a more in-depth scientific study of solitary bees in the city,” explains Étienne Normandin-Leclerc, entomologist at Université de Montréal.

“This local campaign is the result of a great collaboration between all stakeholders and perfectly illustrates Silk’s commitment to contribute to initiatives that support the survival and growth of pollinators, which are essential to biodiversity,” explains Geneviève Bolduc, Marketing Director, Plant-based products category at Danone Canada. “With the slogan, ‘The taste that has your buds buzzing’, the communications campaign will showcase Silk’s plant-based products while highlighting the presence of the nest boxes for bees in the pilot project,” she concluded.

“PATTISON Outdoor is proud to partner with Silk and the research team at Université de Montréal to bring this initiative to life. In addition to promoting a brand like Silk that cares about biodiversity at many levels, we are thrilled to offer space on our Outdoor displays to allow for scientific research on the habitats of pollinating species in high-traffic, urban environments. In the short term, this pilot allows us to set up and evaluate several operational devices to potentially bring this project to a national scale and allow for a larger field of study for the research, and to continue to promote environmental-driven campaigns,” says Dominic Loporcaro, VP/GM, Eastern Region, PATTISON Outdoor Advertising.

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