Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has been committed to protecting the environment for over 25 years. A big part of that commitment is looking for new and creative ways to enhance the brand’s awarding-winning Fairmont Sustainability Partnership platform. A flagship example of this commitment is the luxury hotel brand’s Bee Sustainable program.
Fairmont is committed to doing its part to support bee health globally. To date, Fairmont hotels have more than 20 honeybee apiaries and 8 pollinator bee hotels on property around the world. Many hotels are also famous for nurturing on-property herb and vegetable gardens, which contribute to pollinator health.
Fairmont Washington D.C.
The Fairmont Washington, D.C. is buzzing after welcoming Italian honeybees in summer 2009 to their new home: three rooftop beehives named Casa Bella, Casa Blanca and Casa Bianca. The bees came from Larry & David Reece in Germantown, Maryland. A pollinator bee hotel was built on property in 2015, providing a much needed place for bees to rest their wings.
Vital Stat: 105,000 Italian honeybees living in three beehives produce about 100 pounds of honey per year.
The Fairmont San Francisco
The Fairmont San Francisco installed four beehives in its 1,000-square-foot onsite culinary garden in June 2010. The bees came from nearby Marshall's Farm and now dine on the hotel’s lavender and herbs to create delicious, authentically local honey.
Vital Stat: 200,000 honeybees living in four beehives produce around 600 pounds of honey per year.
Fairmont Newport Beach
In 2011, Fairmont Newport Beach saved their current hive of honeybees from extermination when they were found “swarming” 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.
Vital Stat: Citrus and avocado orchards, coastal oak, black sage, eucalyptus, and buckwheat are among the many rich forage plants that keep the hotel’s honeybees thriving.
The Fairmont Dallas
Pyramid Restaurant and Bar at The Fairmont Dallas has cultivated a beautiful rooftop garden since 2008. Executive Chef André Natera and the Texas Honeybee Guild harvest honey several times a year, with the hotel’s beehives producing honey that is used in the kitchen at The Pyramid Restaurant and Bar for a variety of savory dishes.
Vital Stat: During peak seasons, the two bee hives at The Fairmont Dallas can house up to 80,000 honeybees in total and have the potential to produce 60-80 pounds of honey per year.
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle installed five rooftop honeybee hives in 2011 and plans to have local honey on the menu in Spring 2012. Executive Chef Gavin Stephenson spearheaded the program, and Ballard Bee Company's Corky Luster, an urban apiarian, serves as a project consultant.
Vital Stat: It is hard to say how much honey the bees will produce, but a healthy hive can typically yield 30-40 pounds. At full capacity the five hives will house 500,000 bees.
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
In partnership with Marshall’s Farm, Executive Chef Bruno Tison of The 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. Hotel honey will be used in soups, salad dressings, pastries, ice cream and showcased on the Michelin-starred Santé menu.
Vital Stat: When the beehives mature they will each house up to 50,000 bees and are estimated to produce approximately 250 pounds of honey.
The Fairmont San Jose
In partnership with City Bees™, The Fairmont San Jose’s Sustainability Team has installed honey beehives on the hotel’s rooftop. Beekeeper Robert MacKimmie will establish nascent hives so that the hotel can harvest house honey for use in pastries, ice cream and cheese displays.
Vital Stat: When the beehives mature they will each house up to 50,000 bees, which are estimated to produce approximately 100 pounds of honey.
The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston
In 2012 Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza installed 130,000 bees in three hives alongside the hotel’s rooftop herb garden. The hotel works with the Best Bees Co., which helps tend to the bees as they dine on the hotel’s garden and in nearby Copley Plaza.
Vital Stat: Around 130,000 bees in three hives have produces about 30-40 pounds of honey to date, with more on the way.
The Fairmont Royal York
In the fall of 2011, Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York harvested a record breaking 800 lbs of honey from six of its rooftop bee hives. The hotel’s 14th story apiary was established in June 2008 in partnership with the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative and FoodShare. It is the first of the Fairmont hives and is often noted as being the first rooftop apiary found at any hotel in the world. It was also the first to install a pollinator bee hotel in 2014, paving the way for more to follow in 2015.
Vital Stat: At its summer peak 350,000 honeybees reside in six beehives to produce an average of 450 pounds of honey per year.
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has installed four beehives on the hotel’s 22nd floor rooftop. A natural extension of the Chef’s organic container vegetable garden, the apiary helps pollinate downtown Montreal’s gardens. The hotel has chosen a local “superbee” variety bred by experts and unofficially called "apis mellifera Quebeca".
Vital Stat: About 200,000 "apis mellifera Quebeca" honeybees living in four beehives will produce a honey harvest 3 times a year.
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
At Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec, four queen bees live in hives in the Chef's rooftop garden. The honey is harvested three times a year and used in special honey-based menus (for banquets) and select dishes in the fine dining restaurant, Le Champlain. The hotel also has a pollinator bee hotel on site that features the iconic copper roofing found at many Fairmont properties in Canada.
Vital Stat: 70,000 honeybees living in four beehives produce 650 pounds of honey per year, depending on the weather.
The Fairmont Palliser
The Fairmont Palliser in Calgary's two hives, affectionately named the "Bees N' Honey Hotel" and "Miss Bee Haven" are nestled in a nearby backyard of a quiet community. The hives' main nectar sources are dandelion and clover in addition to a diverse range of flowering plants and trees. The delicious honey is used by the hotel's culinary team and pastry shop to enhance fabulous desserts throughout the property.
Vital Stat: About 100, 000 honeybees living in two beehives produce 10 pounds of honey.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s Executive Sous Chef Cory Ledrew, is getting ready to launch an in-house beehive initiative. Cory and his apprentices will be the beekeepers who will lead the kitchen team in providing fresh honey for the Pastries department.
Vital Stat: Around 150,000 bees live in each of 5 hives, eventually producing 100-200lbs of honey per season per hive.
The Fairmont Waterfront
Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver shares its 2,100 square foot herb garden with honeybee hives on the hotel’s third-floor terrace. Guests of the hotel are invited to join the daily garden and hives tour conducted by onsite ‘Bee Butler’ Michael King. The hotel added a pollinator bee hotel to the garden in 2015 in partnership with Hives for Humanity and as part of the national WILD FOR BEES campaign. Hives for Humanity also supports the hotel with bee keeping expertise. Julia Common of Hives for Humanity works on behalf of and in collaboration with John Gibeau of the Honey Bee Centre.
Vital Stat: 500,000 honeybees living in six beehives produce 600-800 pounds of honey per year.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport has 34 bee colonies happily residing each summer at McDonald Beach Park, located just five minutes from the hotel.
Vital Stat: One million honeybees living in 34 beehives produce about 2,400 pounds of honey.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
In June 2013, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler installed four beehives totaling 120,000 bees. The European Honey Bees help pollinate flowers in the garden and produce a delicate wildflower honey that is harvested by the hotel’s Chefs for use in culinary and cocktail creations. Just two years after the honeybees started calling “The Chateau” their home, the hotel “checked-in” solitary bees with its new pollinator bee hotel.
Vital Stat: The bees will travel up to 3km to pollinate local wildflowers including Lupins.
The Fairmont Empress
The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia has European Carniolan and Italian bees residing in the hotel’s Centennial Garden. The hives are provided by apiarist, John Gibeau, of the Honeybee Centre in Surrey, BC, and are masterminded by Executive Chef, Kamal Silva.
Vital Stat: The resort has 10 colonies with 50,000 bees each, producing two harvests a year, each yielding close to 700 pounds of honey.
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. In addition to incorporating the honey in recipes, it is also being used in treatments at the Willow Stream Spa.
Vital Stat: About 5,000 Melipona bees living in 1 beehive produce approximately 2 pounds of honey per year. The resort will be adding a second hive in the near future.
The Fairmont Southampton
The Fairmont Southampton has begun establishing a beehive at the South Shore resort in partnership with local beekeepers. As Bermuda’s bee population has dwindled dramatically in recent years, this project will contribute to efforts to increase the number of healthy bees on the island.
Vital Stat: European Honey Bees were introduced to Bermuda in 1616, and local folklore says a teaspoon of Bermuda honey taken with tea is a powerful aphrodisiac.
Fairmont Yangcheng Lake
The Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan China has 10 beehives producing fresh honey on the resort’s namesake lake. The resort has brought in a local expert, who has been in beekeeping business for 15 years, to tend the hives and bring wild bees from the West Mount in Suzhou.
Vital Stat: More than 2500 honeybees living in 10 beehives produce 40 kg of honey per day in peak season.
Fairmont Beijing purchases honey from several parts of China, with the majority of honey coming from Shangri-La farms. These farmers have been given free technical support, tools and training opportunities which have allowed them to grow and bottle pure, organic honey.
Vital Stat: Shangri-La farms only use Chinese bees that travel a maximum of 6 kilometers, guaranteeing their honey has zero contamination from pesticides.
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club has partnered with local beekeeper Stephen Macharia, who has been in the beekeeping business for over 17 years, to bring fresh honey to guests. Stephen also offers lectures about bees and honey production, which includes a delicious tasting.
Vital Stat: 32,000 honeybees live in eight beehives.