Throughout his career that spanned over 60 years, Gordon Townsend became known as a world-wide authority in the field of apiculture. His research efforts brought many benefits to Canadians and many others in various countries around the world.
Soon after graduating from the Ontario Agricultural College, Gordon Townsend obtained his M.Sc., while working under Sir Frederick Banting, at the Banting Institute. His graduate studies were on royal jelly. He later became head of the apiculture department at the Ontario Agricultural College and was appointed Provincial Apiarist to administer the Bees Act of Ontario.
Many of Prof. Townsend’s contributions were made at the international level. In 1971, he travelled to South America with a committee selected by the US National Academy of Sciences to assess the impact of African bees in South America. For many years he was a member of the International Bee Research Association that organizes and stores research information for apicultural research establishments.
During the years 1969-1983, through the University of Guelph, Gordon planned and organized a CIDA project to show beekeepers of Kenya how to improve their colony operations and produce more honey of better quality and thereby increase incomes. Gordon Townsend provided leadership to numerous national and international organizations.
In 1980 Prof. Townsend received a Life membership from the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, and the following year was named Professor Emeritus in recognition of his contributions to the beekeeping industry worldwide.