250,000 bees atop New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Beekeeping on the Waldorf-AstoriaThe recent drop in bee numbers has led to several campaigns and initiatives to try and protect the species, and urban bee keeping that makes use of rooftop spaces has proven particularly popular in densely populated cities where green space is scarce.

We've seen green uses of city rooftops before for farming initiatives and, reminiscent of the way the Fairmont Royal York hotel installed a three-hive apiary 14 stories up above the streets of Toronto not long ago, so New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is now raising hundreds of thousands of honey bees on its own urban rooftop.

Roughly a quarter of a million bees now make their home atop the hotel, which stands to reap considerable benefit from the continuous supply of locally sourced honey – an ingredient that will be used throughout its restaurant’s menu. The bees were introduced in support of New York City’s green initiative, PlaNYC, which aims to plant one million trees over the next decade. Some of the flowering trees will require pollination, which is where the bees come in, flying over a three-mile radius to keep newly planted trees blooming across the city.

The proximity of the bees may also prove to have health benefits for any allergy-suffering hotel guests as local honey is said to be one of the most effective treatments for hayfever.

Hotel guests can also tour the six rooftop hives, according to a Huffington Post report.

The Associated Press video below explains the project in more detail:

As bees continue to face an uncertain future, efforts like these offer the potential of a win-win-win for the bees, the hotels, and the planet. The hotel’s enterprising approach also means they are less reliant on outside suppliers for a key ingredient in many of their dishes.

Hospitality providers around the globe: time to get involved in something similar yourself?

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