Surprisingly, some major hotels are treating their guests to honey right off the comb. The Waldorf Astoria, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Fairmont Hotel, and Marriott International are a few of the hotels replete with rooftop apiaries. Some hotels are even partnering with international beekeepers to further the development of hives.
Hotels in Canada, the United States, France, China, and other countries are counteracting the serious collapse of hives worldwide. Some of the causes of the hives’ demise are unknown, but a significant one is the Varroa destructor, a mite that has killed millions of honeybee colonies. Varroa spans the globe, with the possible exception of Australia and Hawaii.
We can be thankful for the urban beekeeping efforts of these hotels. Rowan Jacobsen explains in detail why such efforts are so critical in his book, “Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis.” Given the importance of bees for pollination and our food supply, we need to support bee colonies in one fashion or another. These innovative hotels are to be congratulated for their part in sustaining our bees.
(Photo: Waldorf Astoria hotel sous chef Josh Bierman inspects honeybees and hives).