Something's buzzing at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts across the globe, and the consequences are sweet. The hotel group's new green initiative is bringing apiaries to Fairmont rooftops in the United States, Canada and as far away as Kenya and China in an effort to help reverse the Colony Collapse Disorder currently plaguing North American honeybees.Fairmont Waterfront bees — Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
It all started at the Fairmont Royal York, where the first ever hotel rooftop beehive was installed in 2008. Today, the population hovers around 350,000 bees in the summer peak season, yielding anywhere from 450 to 800 pounds of honey per year. Now nearly two dozen properties have joined in, helping to pollinate the gardens in their communities while harvesting a sweet, locally-sourced ingredient for their guests.Honey Pecorino Cheese — Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
At the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Executive Chef Bruno Tyson plans to make the most of the honey by adding it to soups, salads, ice cream and pastries from his Michelin-starred menu at Santé. The 100 to 200 pounds of honey produced annually at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge goes straight to the pastries department to add natural sweetness to breakfast, dessert and everything in between.Fairmont Olympic Seattle bees — Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Brave guests who want to learn more about these environmentally important insects can join a weekly garden and hive tour led by the resident beekeeper at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. The 2,100-square-foot garden houses six hives and 500,000 bees, and produces 600 to 800 pounds of honey each year. Alternately, beekeeper of more than 17 years Stephen Macharia of the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club regularly hosts lectures and honey tastings. Yum!