In Cincinnati, a new hotel trend is creating quite a buzz. Literally.
Downtown on the sixth-floor rooftop of the Hilton Netherland Plaza, food and beverage director Todd Kelly has started a beekeeping endeavour. He’s always used local honey, but now the hotel’s hives will be bringing in nectar from just 3 miles of the building (the furthest distance bees will fly from their homes).
Kelly is doing it for the love of learning and living a sustainable lifestyle. He says, “It fits into the food and beverage goals of the hotel, being sustainable, local and efficient.” Something more hotels might want to try.
The Hilton isn’t the first to do so, however: chef Randy Wergers at the Kingsgate Marriot already has three hives atop the hotel roof.
With honeybee colonies collapsing, we couldn’t support this more. Along with the death of many colonies, there’s major concern over the food sources they pollinate – like fruits, veggies, trees – being negatively affected. At least one-third of them, in fact. Some people call this The Honeybee Crisis, and organizations have launched campaigns to get people involved in bee saving. Even cities like NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle have lifted their urban beekeeping ban with the hopes of encouraging more cultivation of honey.
This doesn’t mean you should rush into buying your own hives, however; beekeeping is a learning experience, and one to approach with caution. Take a beekeeping course, pick up some books, get comfortable with other local hives, and let your neighbours know your plans. Or if you’re lucky enough to live in Cincinnati, just head down to your local Hilton.