Humble Bee Inc is a partnership between Luc Peters and Dan Douma. They are primarily urban beekeepers, managing hundreds of hives at over 30 locations in the greater Hamilton area, including hives at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton Port Authority, McMaster University and Mohawk College and roof top hives at the Mustard Seed and the Cotton Factory. Founded in 2013, Humble Bee was awarded a First Ontario Business Award in 2018.

Humble Bee focuses on urban honey production, bee products, equipment sales, breeding and selling queen bees and nucleus colonies and bee education. In addition to their Hamilton business, Humble Bee also manages hives for the Toronto Beekeeper’s Collective at the Fairmont Royal York, Ontario Science Centre, Black Creek Community Farm, and Downsview Federal Park.

Humble Bee’s philosophy is to put the needs of the bees first, with the understanding that maintaining healthy, thriving colonies is in the best interests of both the bees and the beekeeper. Their colonies are managed without the use of antibiotics or synthetic miticides, and they select for gentle, disease-resistant and hygienic stock.

Humble Bee’s primary goal in beekeeping education is to teach students how to ‘read’ a beehive. They believe the bees will tell you everything you need to know; you just need to learn how to listen. Humble Bee will teach you how to ‘listen’ with all of your senses, and how to manage your colonies by learning to anticipate how the bees will respond to your management decisions.

With over 20 years of experience between them, Humble Bee can help you achieve all your beekeeping goals.

Luc Peters

Founder and co-owner of Humble Bee. He is an apiarist and is the current Chair of the Food Strategy Committee for the city of Hamilton.

In 2010, Luc started working for an industrial beekeeping operation focused on pollination contracts and honey production. After several years of keeping bees as a hobby, it was clear that beekeeping was something Luc wanted to do long term, but in a more sustainable way than his experiences with industrial beekeeping had taught him.

Luc started the urban bee farm Humble Bee in 2013 and teamed up with Dan Douma in 2015 when they were both hired at Toronto FoodShare to mentor the Toronto Beekeepers Collective.

Luc has always been interested in environmental issues and has been a member of Environment Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe Beekeeper’s Association since 2010. He has also been a member of the Ontario Beekeeper’s Association since 2014. Luc is passionate about not just honey bees but about native bees and pollinators in general. He is also interested in local, organic, and sustainable farming.

In 2018, Luc was awarded a Business Link Media Group ’40 Under 40 Business Achievement Award’.

dan with swarm

Dan Douma

After obtaining a BA in psychology at the University of Guelph, Dan found myself looking for a new direction in my life, and ‘stumbled’ into beekeeping. He was immediately fascinated by the dynamics of a honey bee colony, and the discipline and understanding required to successfully manage these important creatures.

Dan spent 8 years working for the largest producer of queen bees in Ontario, undergoing a crash course in beekeeping that saw him go from no experience to catching queens in his first season.

As an apprentice of Dr. Szabo, who was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1987 for his work on honey bee genetics, Dan obtained an in-depth, science-based education in all aspects of beekeeping, including honey production, queen rearing, and pollination.

Along the way, Dan also spent a season with a queen bee producer in Chile and worked as a Provincial Bee Inspector for 5 years, and became a partner in Humble Bee Inc. in 2015.

More than 10 years after starting his adventures in beekeeping, Dan’s focus is now on sharing his knowledge with other aspiring beekeepers.