Bee Creek is a small stream in Colwood that flows into Esquimalt Lagoon.
Its flow begins as groundwater seepage at the base of a rock escarpment, on federal land leased by Royal Roads University. The stream flows through young forest and shrubs on this land, then through Pacific Landing before discharging into Esquimalt Lagoon in a small estuary.
The surrounding watershed contains some ancient Coastal Douglas Fir forest, as well as residential areas and open fields that were once farmed. Unlike most streams, the flows in Bee Creek do not change much with the seasons, since it is fed by groundwater more than by rainwater. This unique characteristic has shaped much of the form, ecology and human use of the stream over the years.
Interesting facts about Bee Creek
- In the early part of the 20th century, a small dam and hydro-electrical facility in Bee Creek provided electricity to several surrounding houses.
- The surrounding watershed contains some of the only remaining old-growth forest in the Victoria area, including a Douglas fir tree dubbed the “Magna-Carta tree,” which is over 800 years old.
- A recent restoration project greatly improved the function of the stream, encouraging spawning and rearing habitat for Pacific salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout. Only two months after the first phase of restoration was completed, an adult coho salmon was spotted in the stream.
Protecting Bee Creek as our community grows
Bee Creek runs through the Havenwood property on Esquimalt Lagoon, which will soon be home to a new neighbourhood called Pacific Landing.
Protection of Bee Creek Watershed is a priority for Colwood, and the creek will continue be a beautiful and peaceful feature of the Pacific Landing property.
Mr. Patrick Lucey of Aqua Tex Scientific Consulting is a key member of the team that has worked to restore Bee Creek over the last several years. Mr. Lucey has been contracted by the development team to oversee protection of the creek while Pacific Landing is being built.
To protect the stream while construction takes place, a small temporary dam will be installed to divert the flow around the worksite and keep water in the lower channel to protect the fish. The dam will be removed as soon as the work near the entrance is complete.
Learn more about Pacific Landing.