Hotels Boasting Bees are all The Buzz for World Bee Day (May 20)

Hotels Boasting Bees are all The Buzz for World Bee Day (May 20)

We’re buzzin' to celebrate the earth’s smallest pollinators on World Bee Day (May 20) as we recognize these vital creatures and their contribution to a healthy ecosystem and thriving biodiversity.

Luxury hotels around the world have joined the bee-keeping community through implementing pollination programs, in-house apiaries and honeybee workshops to allow discerning travelers to learn more about supporting global bee health (and perhaps snag a taste of their fresh honey while you’re at it).

In honor of the upcoming holiday, we’ve rounded up a selection of properties around the world offering bee-friendly programming:

Carmel Valley Ranch | Carmel, CA

Experience the ancient magic of beekeeping through the lens of the Carmel Valley Ranch Bees and the property’s apiary artisan-in-residence, Christopher Riley. Head to the Organic Garden for A Bee’s Life to delight the imagination and senses as guests can experience beekeeping at its fullest—from hive science to honey tasting, and more. Guests will examine the connections between plants and pollinators before heading into the Apiary for a closer look at The Ranch’s tiniest artisans in action. The pollinators tasting honey can be found right on property in spa treatments at Spa Aiyana and on the menu at Valley Kitchen.

MacArthur Place | Sonoma, CA

In partnership with Marin Coastal Bee Co, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa recently welcomed two locally raised bee colonies to the six-acre property, which are currently thriving amidst gorgeous June lavender blooms. Identified as the Western Honey Bee, the beehives were installed with upwards of 10,000 bees (and one queen for each respective hive) with the potential to reach 40,000 bees this summer as the weather becomes warmer and flowers continue to bloom. Honey bees are vital to pollination and local farm production across Wine Country and MacArthur Place looks forward to incorporating honey from the hives throughout the property’s programming when the hives are ready.

Alila Ventana Big Sur | Big Sur, CA

A breathtaking resort with inclusive offerings in the heart of California’s rugged Central Coast, Alila Ventana Big Sur is perched at the edge of the continent overlooking the majestic Pacific coastline.  Guests can head to The Organic Garden — where they’ll find a unique space offering a powerful connection to the Earth and nature’s bounty and an apiary filled with honeybees. Every Sunday, Tuesday, Friday at 1:00PM, guests can take part in the Signature Experience — Bees and Big Sur — where they’ll explore the intimate connection between flowers & bees with this educational experience followed by a blind tasting of honey sourced from the property and around the world!

Southall | Franklin, TN *opening Summer 2022

Southall is a luxury resort set on 325 idyllic acres and centered entirely around its working farm, dedicated to sustainability, agricultural and culinary discovery and honoring the circle of life. Southall’s Pollination Program Manager, Jay Williams, oversees the millions of bees that populate Southall’s grounds, and is responsible for creating and implementing a property-wide, technology-driven pollination plan that governs Southall’s six apiaries and multiple bee species. Upon opening, guests will also have the opportunity to experience a guided apiary tour with Southall’s beekeeper and learn about the pollination program and the essential role honeybees play in agriculture, as well as enjoy a taste of the property’s award-winning honey.

Adare Manor | County Limerick, Ireland 

In the spring of 2017, seven beehives were introduced to the gardener’s nursery at Adare Manor. Throughout spring, summer, and autumn, the property’s honeybees roam the estate foraging for nectar and gathering pollen on their back legs. The nectar and pollen they collect and bring back to the hive are used to create 100% pure Irish honey, which in turn, is utilized throughout the hotel’s decadent dining outlets, as well as sold on the property’s online boutique for guests all over the world to enjoy.

Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte | Charlotte, NC

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte’s 18th-floor rooftop garden includes a pair of fully contained beehives whose 100,000 seasonal inhabitants assist in pollination and provide natural honey for the hotel. This chemical-free raw honey is used for the house-made Honey Pecan Gelato served at Lobby ice cream socials and throughout the hotel’s kitchens, in beverages at The Punch Room, dishes in the Lobby Lounge, and desserts at Bar Cocoa. Guests can learn more by reserving a spot on the chef-led “Green Behind the Scenes” tour, held at 10 a.m. Saturdays. The tour is complimentary.

The Tides Inn | Irvington, VA

Located in the historic town of Irvington in the heart of Virginia’s Northern Neck region, the Tides Inn is a 70-room waterfront resort situated on a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Delivering genuine Southern hospitality in an intimate setting, the Tides Inn is a renowned and locally-inspired culinary destination, packed with unique and memorable programming that any type of traveler will enjoy. And one very buzzwworthy program is the on-site Beehive Experience! Guests will follow the property’s Horticulturist Matt Little to the Bee Meadow, home of the resident bees and wildflower field. Here Matt will guide guests for an up-close look into the beehives, to learn about the life and hierarchy of bees, the anatomy of the hive, how to harvest honey and even how to create your own apiary at home!

Shangri-La Le Touessrok, Mauritius | Trou d’Eau Douce, Mauritius

Tony, one of the resort's Beach Villa butlers, is a passionate beekeeper. Few years ago, he contributed to the installation of the resort's first bee-farm in a remote location at the hotel. Since then, more than 10 bee hives have been set up, and with his support, guests can sample the organic honey and learn about the process. Harvesting occurs twice a year, and the resort is working to make this activity more productive and sustainable.

Shangri-La Toronto | Toronto, Canada

Shangri-La Toronto built a B-Wall in 2015 in partnership with Birks, Canada’s leading jeweler, and Alvéole, a Montreal-based organization that promotes and assists with beehive installation, maintenance and honey extraction. With roughly 50,000 bees, the hive produces approximately 20 kilos (almost 45 pounds) of honey each year; aiding in the hotel’s promise to promote sustainability and using locally sourced ingredients. The harvested honey is used in the hotel’s culinary creations including custom cocktails. With this raw, unpasteurized, hyperlocal ingredient, Shangri-La Toronto partnered with Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery to brew their own B-Wall Honey Lager; offered in newly designed 437-milliliter cans, where guests can enjoy the canned lager as an in-room amenity, as well as on draft in the comfort of the Lobby Lounge.

Hostellerie La Cheneaudière | Colroy-la-Roche, France

This property sells a line of natural beauty products called Simples et Miel that can only be found at La Cheneaudière. The line is paraben-free and dye-free, plus all the products are made with pure water from the Colroy-la-Roche springs, honey from the property's beehives, berries from the Vosges forest and plants from the surrounding prairies (common plantain, common mullein or velvet-plant, black elderberry, heather and blueberries). Guests can also enjoy the honey at breakfast along with delectable breads and other dishes – even the cereal and muesli are made by hand here!

Saint James | Paris, France (pictured)

Saint James Paris installed beehives with expert help from Timothée Quellard of Ekodev in a garden off the restaurant patio. Every year, customers can watch the honey being harvested. They learn about the importance of saving bees, vital to protecting biodiversity, and then taste a house honey, which Pastry Chef Matthias Alet also uses in his creations. These two small properties are helping them achieve their most important mission: pollinating flowers.

Longueville Manor | Jersey, Großbritannien (Great Britain) 

Longueville Manor embarked on an ambitious environmental conservation program called New Leaf.

Some of the property's actions include maintaining 24 hives that produce honey for the restaurant and an active support effort for the Durrell Wildlife Preservation Trust, which works to protect species close to extinction. Bee colonies are helping area farms by improving pollination rates and they supply an abundance of fragrant honey for hotel guests.

Chewton Glen | Hampshire, UK

This English property first delved into beekeeping with a small handful of hives, but the venture quickly grew and as of this summer the apiary will have 70 beehives. With help from a professional beekeeper, the team has its heart set on expanding the activity mainly by planting the bees' favorite flowers and plants like borage, phacelia and lavender. Protecting bees is part of a widespread environmental effort that is also working to increase the populations of birds and hedgehogs as well as grow other plant varieties to offer guests unique custom-made jellies and syrups.

Hotel Bareiss im Schwarzwald |  Black Forest, Germany

The owners of this hotel in the heart of the Black Forest renovated an old farmhouse that once belonged to healers with a plan to hold events and old-fashioned tastings there for hotel guests. The carefully tended kitchen garden is a beautiful refuge for three bee colonies. The honey they produce is on the breakfast menu every morning and also used in a royal jelly treatment at the spa.

Château St. Gerlach | Valkenburg aan de Geul, The Netherlands

Château St. Gerlach has five beehives and a display hive where visitors can watch Carniolan bees hard at work. Last year, they produced 150 kg of honey that was served at breakfast, used in desserts, given away or sold. St. Gerlach's chef Otto Nijenhuis is a certified beekeeper and member of the Dutch Beekeepers Association.

Beau-Rivage Hotel | Switzerland

On the hotel's rooftop lies Le Petit Beau-Rivage, a series of beehives that are home to 60,000 yellow and black pollinators. Guests are invited to visit them guided by beekeeper Audric De Campeau, founder of the eco-responsible company CitizenBees. Dozens of built-in sensors were installed inside and outside the hives so guests can see how the Hymenoptera live in real time.