The birds and the bees

by | Apr 22, 2019 | Campus News, News, North

Rachael Taylor and Paige McGowan, News Reporters

A goose chose a questionable location to build it’s nest this year, and Humber’s sustainability team needs your help to keep the future newborns safe.

“A goose laid eggs in one of the planters near the bees at North campus,” Devon Fernandes, a sustainability specialist at Humber College told Et Cetera.

The mother goose chose the spot that’s surrounded by a number of beehive boxes a few weeks ago and her eggs are expected to hatch around May 6.

Mama Goose protects her nest amid the buzzing beehives at Humber North campus. (Rachael Taylor)

“One of our beekeepers contacted the Toronto Wildlife Centre to determine the best way to ensure the goose, the eggs, and the bees are all safe,” Fernandes said.

Fran Freeman, a beekeeper at Humber North campus, told Et Cetera the Toronto Wildlife Centre advised them not to move the nest because it could lead the mother to abandon her goslings.

“Fran was advised to leave the goose and its eggs in place until they hatch and to put out water and chopped grass and dandelions for the babies to eat as there is nothing for them on the roof,” Fernandes said.

A major concern on most people’s minds would be the goose’s safety next to all the hives.

Freeman said in an email response to questions the goose seems “fairly tolerant of us being out there and, when it is a little warmer and we are able to open the hives, we will try moving the hive boxes a little farther away from the nest so as to minimize stressing the birds.”

Sustainability staff with TWC help will relocate “Mama goose” and her goslings to a more suitable location.

“TWC has asked us to contact them again at (hatching) time so we can figure out a rescue plan to get them down off the second floor walkout and into a more suitable environment at ground level with grass and other food and a place to swim,” Freeman said.

The birds will most likely be relocated to the Arboretum which has a pond and plenty of goose friendly food.

Sustainability team is asking for help to keep an eye on the goose.

“You and others can help be our eyes on the situation when we are not there,” Freeman said. “If you see any signs of one of the eggs hatching, please contact me immediately so I can let TWC know.”

Freeman can be contacted at or at the Department of Sustainability at 416-675-6622, ext. 4651.