Shown is the rooftop deck at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose
We've all seen birds flitting around hotel properties, building their little nests, looking for food in places such as Carmel Valley Ranch where wild turkeys wobble up to the dining room windows peering in at guests, or even have their own suites such as the parrots and exotic birds at Catamaran Beach Resort in San Diego. But did you know that the bees also take a rest in some of the finest hotels in California? At the Fairmont Hotels in San Francisco, San Jose and Newport Beach there are actually bee colonies on rooftop decks! And crazier yet, the honey they make is served in the hotel restaurants.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts noticed the buzz and growing concerns about Colony Collapse Disorder in North American honeybees. They saw an opportunity to help by placing hives on hotel rooftop gardens. Not only does this help the local environment by providing bees to pollinate area gardens and parks, but by harvesting the honey, chefs can offer local and sustainable honey for use in on-site bars and restaurants, served in cocktails, pastries, deserts, sauces and as sweetener for those fashionable teas. Proving to be a success, the program has now extended beyond North America and is thriving in Kenya and China as well. If you get a chance, ask the chef what else is growing on the upper deck. Herb gardens are extremely popular at Fairmont, too!