Did you know that it’s some of the world’s most luxurious hotels that are helping to keep the earth’s smallest pollinator protected? These hotels and resorts have joined the bee-keeping community through implementing pollination programs, in-house apiaries and honeybee workshops to allow discerning travellers to learn more about supporting global bee health. Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to taste a bit of their honey in the dishes at the hotel and pick up a jar as a souvenir.
In celebration of World Bee Day on May 20th, here are six hotels that keep bees (and protect them too).
Adare Manor. County Limerick, Ireland
In the spring of 2017, seven beehives were introduced to the gardener’s nursery at Adare Manor. Throughout spring, summer, and autumn, the property’s honeybees roam the estate foraging for nectar and gathering pollen on their back legs. The nectar and pollen they collect and bring back to the hive are used to create 100% pure Irish honey, which in turn, is utilized throughout the hotel’s decadent dining outlets, as well as sold on the property’s online boutique for guests all over the world to enjoy.
Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
The Chelsea Hotel has four hives surrounded by bee-friendly pollinator plants with 16 varieties of bee-friendly plants/flowers such as daisy, black-eyed susans, snapdragons, cornflowers and sunflowers. These hives were set up in collaboration with the Toronto Bee Rescue.
Saint James, Paris, France
Saint James Paris installed beehives with expert help from Timothée Quellard of Ekodev in a garden off the restaurant patio. Every year, customers can watch the honey being harvested. They learn about the importance of saving bees, vital to protecting biodiversity, and then taste the house honey, which Pastry Chef Matthias Alet also uses in his creations. These two small properties are helping them achieve their most important mission: pollinating flowers.
MacArthur Place , Sonoma, CA
In partnership with Marin Coastal Bee Co, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa recently welcomed two locally raised bee colonies to the six-acre property, which are currently thriving amidst gorgeous June lavender blooms. Identified as the Western Honey Bee, the beehives were installed with upwards of 10,000 bees (and one queen for each respective hive) with the potential to reach 40,000 bees this summer as the weather becomes warmer and flowers continue to bloom. Honey bees are vital to pollination and local farm production across Wine Country and MacArthur Place looks forward to incorporating honey from the hives throughout the property’s programming when the hives are ready.
Shangri-La Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Shangri-La Toronto built a B-Wall in 2015 in partnership with Birks, Canada’s leading jeweler, and Alvéole, a Montreal-based organization that promotes and assists with beehive installation, maintenance and honey extraction. With roughly 50,000 bees, the hive produces approximately 20 kilos (almost 45 pounds) of honey each year; aiding in the hotel’s promise to promote sustainability and using locally sourced ingredients. The harvested honey is used in the hotel’s culinary creations including custom cocktails. With this raw, unpasteurized, hyperlocal ingredient, Shangri-La Toronto partnered with Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery to brew their own B-Wall Honey Lager; offered in newly designed 437-milliliter cans, where guests can enjoy the canned lager as an in-room amenity, as well as on draft in the comfort of the Lobby Lounge.
Beau-Rivage Hotel, Switzerland
On the hotel’s rooftop lies Le Petit Beau-Rivage, a series of beehives that are home to 60,000 yellow and black pollinators. Guests are invited to visit them guided by beekeeper Audric De Campeau, founder of the eco-responsible company CitizenBees. Dozens of built-in sensors were installed inside and outside the hives so guests can see how the Hymenoptera live in real time.