It's All About the Buzz in Wine Country Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa Installs Honey Beehives

Publish Date: 22-Nov-2011

Sonoma Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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.

Beekeepers will establish nascent beehives, each containing approximately 20,000 bees.  When the beehives mature in four to eight weeks, they will each house up to 50,000 bees. 

The United States Department of Agriculture believes a virus is responsible for the collapse of honey bee colonies.  This situation is often called “CCD” or Colony Collapse Disorder.  Without honey bees, pollination is not possible. 

“The cultivation of honey beehives marks the latest step in the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s legacy of environmental stewardship.  Pollinating insects play a critical role in maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in most flowering plants; this is critical in an agricultural area like Sonoma County, ” explains General Manager, Kelley Cosgrove.

The beehives are estimated to produce approximately 250 pounds of honey which will be served to hotel guests as part of the resort’s commitment to offering local, organic, sustainable cuisine.  This home-harvested honey will be used in soups, salad dressings, pastries, ice cream and showcased on the Michelin-starred Santé menu.

Soon to be spotlighted on the Santé dessert menu; Canelés -a heavenly decadent, custardy treat.  Baked in a traditional fluted mold coated with beeswax from the resort’s bee hives, the wax lends the canelés its dark, crisp, shiny exterior, creamy interior and nuances of honey. 

Honey beehives can also be found at sister properties including The Fairmont San Francisco, The Fairmont Dallas, The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, and The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, Canada.

Renowned for natural mineral waters, unparalleled service and gracious accommodations, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, is located 40 miles north of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in the heart of the Sonoma Valley.  Home to the Michelin rated Santé dining room and a 40,000 square foot spa acclaimed by Travel +Leisure magazine as one of the Top 25 facilities in North America. The resort is a recipient of both the AAA-Four Diamond and Mobil-Four Star Award, consistently providing the country’s finest European destination spa experience.  For reservations please call 1-800-441-1414 or (707) 938-9000, or visit the Inn’s website at

Headquartered in American Canyon, Calif., Spencer and Helene Marshall of Marshall’s Farm have been producing award-winning organic honey since 1993.  They currently operate beehives throughout Northern California and their honey is served at The Culinary Institute of America.  For more information about Marshall’s Farm, please visit

A leader in the global hospitality industry, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of 59 distinctive hotels, which includes iconic landmarks like The Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont The Norfolk, Nairobi and Canada's Fairmont Banff Springs. Fairmont hotels are one-of-a-kind properties where sophisticated travelers can discover culturally rich experiences that are authentic to the destination. Situated in some of the most exclusive and pristine areas in the world, Fairmont is committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

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