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Publish Date: 25-Sep-2012

Vancouver, BC. Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Urban apiaries, abuzz with activity, have produced sweet crops that weigh in at over 13,000 pounds at Fairmont Hotels &Resorts in the Pacific Northwest.

In Vancouver, The Fairmont Waterfront's rooftop apiary, overlooking the scenic Burrard Inlet, is home to a half million honeybeesduring the summer. The hotel's honey harvest, which takes placeSeptember 25, is expected to reap 700 pounds, with an additional4,000 pounds from off-site hives.  Resident beekeeper and executive sous chef Mark Wadsworth (who used a hotel pillow case to rescue a swarm of bees from a neighbouring tree and took them"home") will work alongside John Gibeau, president of the Honeybee Centre (,past president of British Columbia Honey Producers, and lifelong beekeeper.  They will gently smoke the hives to calm the bees,remove the frames, and then use a newly designed plexi-glass extractor to remove the honey which can be immediately sampled.  The tasty results are available at the honey-themed Afternoon "Hive" Tea which features local artisanal cheeses paired with honey-infused accompaniments, honey almond cakes, garden thyme lemon lollipops, bannock bread scones, and sweets prepared with herbs and honey from the rooftop garden.  The harvest also inspired the hotel's Bees Knees - honey truffles that were created with British Columbia's legendary chocolatier, Rogers' Chocolate in milk or dark chocolate with flavour notes of butterscotch, vanilla and cinnamon.
Across town at one of the world's busiest airports, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is home to approximately a million honeybees that reside on Vancouver International Airport's land at McDonald Beach Park.  The area's vast array of indigenous plants, trees and flowers provide the bees with an ever changing menu that produces a mélange of sweet and spicy notes with a hint of cinnamon and apple.   This "nectar of the gods" can be sampled in a variety of cocktails and dishes in the hotel's lounge and restaurant with favourites like the rum-based Honey Harvest cocktail, Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette,Honey Cheesecake, or the Cranberry Pear Cobbler served with house-made Honey Ice Cream. The honey can also be purchased at the hotel, Discovery BC, and the Euro Café located in the airport's domestic terminal.  
Ask The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC what do to with a ton - or two - of honey and they have a ready answer.  After all, they recently collected over 3,000 pounds of honey from the happy hives and it's only the second year.  Craft a wheat and honey beer with Hoyne's Hefe, serve it with scones at Afternoon Tea, create a honey vinaigrette, honey and thyme jus, pastry truffles, homemade peanut butter, desserts, sauces and lip balm…. and use it on popcorn.   "We are now exploring possibilities to incorporate the honey into some of our treatments in Willow Stream Spa," explains Angela Rafuse-Tahir, the hotel's director of sales and marketing.  "We discovered through our research that honey is an anti-aging skin care product and is the only natural product that never goes bad.  It was used centuries ago by beauties like Cleopatra and was found in the tombs of ancient Egypt."
In Seattle, Washington, The Fairmont Olympic has also just celebrated their second season of beekeeping and is getting a buzz from the honey ale produced from their rooftop hives.  In partnership with Master Brew maker Dean Mochizuki at the Pike Brewing Company, Yvon Lambert, the hotel's food and beverage director formulated saison-style ale that is infused with threepounds of honey per keg. Served exclusively on tap at Shuckers - it's an ideal accompaniment to seafood.   Honey nuts should make a beeline for the hotel's AAA Four-Star restaurant, The Georgian for the popular breakfast granola parfait, and honeyglazed salmon.

Here is how the busy bees add up in the region:
The Fairmont Waterfront - 4,700 pounds
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport - 5,000 pounds
The Fairmont Empress - 3,000 pounds
The Fairmont Olympic - 400 pounds.


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has been committed to the protecting the environment for over 20 years,and is always brainstorming ways to enhance the eco-focused Green Partnership Program. With growing concerns about Colony Collapse Disorder in North American honeybees, Fairmont saw an opportunity to help by placing hives on some hotel's rooftop gardens. This helps the local environment by providing bees to pollinate area gardens and parks, and by harvesting the honey, chefs can offer delicious, local and sustainable honey for use in onsite bars and restaurants. Proving to be a success, the program has now extended to include onsite hives at Fairmont Hotels in Kenya and China. 
Guests can make a beeline and celebrate the Honey Harvest with a sweet deal of an offer:   book and pay for accommodation in Fairmont Hotels in the Pacific Northwest prior to October 31,2012 and receive a 20% discount off the room rate and dining, and a sweet treat on arrival.  Hotels include The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle, The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport, and in Vancouver, The Fairmont Waterfront, The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Fairmont Pacific Rim.  For reservations, call 1-888-830-1144 or visit Sweet Reward promotion

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