Did you know that an hotel chain is fighting against the shortage of bees? In June 2008, the Royal York in Toronto installed three hives as a natural extension of their decade old rooftop herb garden. The rooftop apiary was established in partnership with the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative and FoodShare. Both initiatives deliver fresh local product in a sustainable way to hotel guests.
Since then, three more Fairmont hotels established their apiary. The first US hotel to join that initiative is The Fairmont Washington, D.C.. They expect their 105,000 Italian honey bees will produce 300 pounds of honey within the first year. Other sites are at The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, New Brunswick and The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Honey harvested from the Fairmont’s Bee Hives are used in soups, salad dressings, pastries, ice cream and other culinary delights in the hotel restaurants. They are also used to make cocktails at the bars.
I applauded this initiative. Bees are important to the ecosystem as they play a determinant role in pollination. The next time I will go to any of these hotels, I would like to have a tour of the installation.