We all know that bees are good for the environment, pollinate, produce honey etc. They aren’t evil like wasps. But that doesn’t mean that everyone wants them flying around them when staying at a hotel.
The Fairmont group of hotels have a program whereby bee hives are installed in the gardens of the hotel. Some examples include:
- Fairmont Washington, D.C. has three rooftop garden beehives. 105,000 Italian honeybees.
- Fairmont San Francisco has four beehives in its 1,000-square-foot onsite culinary garden . 200,000 honeybees.
- Fairmont Newport Beach saved their current hive of honeybees from extermination when they were found “swarming” brrr, in the hotel’s ground-level parking lot. The hotel’s beekeeping partner, Backyard Bees, rescued the bees before relocating them to a safer home on the rooftop.
- The Pyramid Restaurant and Bar at The Fairmont Dallas has a beautiful rooftop garden with two bee hives. Up to 80,000 honeybees.
- Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle installed five rooftop honeybee hives. Up to 500,000 bees.
- Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa will be installing honey beehives on the resort’s perimeter in order to help support the Valley’s bee population, which has decreased in number by 90 percent since the 1980s. When the beehives mature they will each house up to 50,000 bees.
- Fairmont San Jose has installed honey beehives on the hotel’s rooftop. When the beehives mature they will each house up to 50,000 bees.
- Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza installed 130,000 bees in three hives alongside the hotel’s rooftop herb garden. Around 130,000 bees.
- Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York has six rooftop bee hives. At its summer peak 350,000 honeybees.
- Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has installed four beehives on the hotel’s 22nd floor rooftop. About 200,000 “apis mellifera Quebeca” honeybees.
- Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, four hives in the Chef’s rooftop garden. 70,000 honeybees.
- Fairmont Palliser in Calgary has two hives nestled in a nearby backyard of a quiet community. About 100, 000 honeybees.
- Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Around 150,000 bees live in each of 5 hives.
- Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver shares its 2,100 square foot herb garden with honeybee hives on the hotel’s third-floor terrace. 500,000 honeybees living in six beehives.
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport has 34 bee colonies happily residing each summer at McDonald Beach Park, located just five minutes from the hotel. One million honeybees living in 34 beehives.
- Fairmont Chateau Whstler installed four beehives totaling 120,000 European Honey Bees.
- Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia has European Carniolan and Italian bees residing in the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The resort has 10 colonies with 50,000 bees each.
- Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda has begun establishing a beehive at the South Shore resort in partnership with local beekeepers.
- Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan China has 10 beehives. More than 2500 honeybees.
On the positive side, I found that the Fairmont Mayakoba cultivates rare “Melipona” bees which produce a type of honey that’s known for its medicinal purposes. The bees are native to the Yucatan and are stingless. About 5,000 Melipona bees living in 1 beehive. The resort will be adding a second hive in the near future. These stingless Melipona bees sound like perfect bees to me. I wonder if some genetic interbreeding with wasps and hornets could make stingless versions of these evil cousins?
If anyone from Fairmont is reading this, then please don’t think I’m suggesting that you should get rid of the bees. It’s great that a corporate is doing something for the environment. But equally, I think your website should carry a warning to say that if you are scared of bees, or indeeed suffer from anaphylactic shock when stung, you should consider this before booking.
I also think Fairmont should provide screened areas for their outdoor diners, so they can eat without fear of bees flying around them.
For more information about Fairmont’s bee program visit http://fairmontbeesustainable.com/