Honeybees are nature’s hardest-working creatures. Though tiny — averaging about half an inch in length — what these insects do for the world is nearly unimaginable.
Each day, workers, drones, and the Queen herself go to work, flying for miles to collect pollen, secret nectar, and create delicious honey. And, in doing so, they help pollinate the world, including 30 percent of the crops humans eat and 90 percent of all wild plants.
To celebrate these glorious critters, hotels around the world are showcasing their honey and honeybee programs. Because nothing’s better than traveling, learning, and enjoying a “beetini” or two along the way.
Fairmont, Washington, D.C.
In 2008, the world first learned about Colony Collapse Disorder, which ran rampant through honeybee hives across the globe. One of the first hotel groups to jump in to raise awareness for the issue was the Fairmont.
It was then that the hotels, including the Fairmont in Washington, D.C., began placing honeybee hives on hotel rooftop gardens. Next, it began training hotel staff to not only care for the bees but to use the honey they produced for pollinator-friendly menus and for special cocktails, such as its signature beetini. Though cheeky, it’s turned into an excellent educational opportunity for every guest who passes through the hotel’s doors. In fact, it’s been so successful that the group expanded the program to its worldwide hotels and now includes onsite hives in spaces in Kenya, China, and more.
The Fairmont D.C. even offers a special “Bee a Beekeeper” promotion, which includes a stay for two, a two-hour lesson with a resident beekeeper, a complimentary one-year membership to the D.C. Beekeepers, a $500 gift certificate for beekeeping supplies at Draper’s Super Bee Apiaries, Inc., and a booklet of honey-inspired recipes created by the hotel’s executive chef.
Carmel Valley Ranch, California
Carmel Valley Ranch, which sits along California’s idyllic Central Coast, is commemorating all things honey this September with curated educational programs designed by its resident beekeeper Mariah McDonald.
At Carmel Valley, guests can sign up for 90-minute lessons on beekeeping at its very own apiary with McDonald. There, guests can don beekeeping suits and visit the hive of more than 60,000 Italian honeybees for themselves. Afterward, guests can receive honey spa treatments at the treetop Spa Aiyana, and dine on honey-filled dishes and drinks at Valley Kitchen restaurant.
Mauna Kea Resort, Hawaii
The Mauna Kea Resort’s Bee Mauna Kea initiative is bringing guests a unique look into the world of bees and their jobs on the Big Island. During a one-hour interactive tour guests gain access to a walking tour of the hotel’s hives where they complete a “bee wellness check,” and can even harvest their own honey. During the tour, guests will also learn how the hives operate, have a raw honey tasting, and take home a custom jar of the hotel honey.
The resort is indeed the only hotel to operate in cooperation with Hawaii’s Apiary Division to sustainably maintain honeybees. Guests can also feel good about the tour’s $50 fee as it goes to supporting and maintaining the beehives.
Nanuku, Auberge Resorts Collection, Fiji
During National Honey Month, Nanuku, Auberge Resorts Collection in Fiji will begin its harvest session at its own beehive under the guidance of its resident beekeeper, Peter. Best of all, guests are invited to join in the entire thing too.
During the harvest, guests will don beekeeping suits, pull and taste honeycombs made by the resident 2,000 bees, and enjoy a five-course honey-inspired dinner including honey and miso roasted pork belly and a honey-caramel poached banana. Visitors can also relax a bit thanks to the hotel ’s honey-centric spa treatments.
Sanderling Resort, North Carolina
In September, “The Sanderling Bee’s,” the resident bees of the Sanderling Resort, will be on full display. During the celebration, the resort will feature all of natural goodness these bees have created.
That includes a plethora of unique menu offerings such as a cocktail known as Keeper’s Watch, which comes with honey-infused bourbon, ginger ale, and fresh lemon juice. Guests can also dig into the honeycomb made by the hotel’s bees on the Outer Banks Cheese Tray. Visitors can even take a bit of the bee magic home with them by purchasing a custom candle created in partnership with the Outer Banks Candle Company.