Fairmont Hotels Get Into Beekeeping
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada has a hidden amenity that I've never heard another luxury hotel claim, its own apiary. The hotel set up three beehives on its roof last summer in partnership with Foodshare's Field to Table Centre and the Toronto Beekeeping Co-operative. The bee colony of over 10,000 bees created close to 300 pounds of honey. This year the hotel added three more hives hoping to increase production. Royal York's chefs use the fresh honey in salad dressings, baked goods and other items. The honey also makes its way into the milk and honey pedicures at the hotel spa.
The hotel already has a rooftop herb garden growing mint and other culinary herbs which contribute to the unique taste of the honey. The hotel's success with the bees has inspired the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, N. B., and the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver to set up their own apiaries. Guests at the Fairmont Royal York can request educational beehive tours over the summer. The potential disappearance of bees in recent years due to colony collapse disorder has also caused other brands, including Haagen-Dazs ice cream which donates money to beekeeping research, to be concerned for the future of the busy pollinators.