Bee Sustainable Program Overview
In 2008, Fairmont saw an opportunity to help combat Colony Collapse Disorder by placing honeybee hives on hotel rooftop gardens and other onsite locations. Fairmont was the first luxury hotel brand to develop onsite honeybee programming and is now considered the leading hotel company in this space.
Not only does the installation and maintenance of bee apiaries help the local environment by providing bees with a home to pollinate area gardens and parks, but by harvesting the honey, chefs can offer delicious, local and sustainable honey for use in onsite bars and restaurants. Proving to be a success, the program has now extended globally, with onsite hives thriving in Kenya and China as well.
The Grand Del Mar property has recently onboarded a set of two honeybee colonies in order to make active steps towards healing the planet and offsetting their carbon footprint by engaging in beekeeping with San Diego Based company, Bee Leaf USA.
Together, Bee Leaf USA and Food & Beverage Director, Cameron Petrelli developed an onsite honeybee program that will actualize the concept by using honey harvested from the hives in various Food & Beverage offerings. Included in this program is an amenity program to share property sourced honey with the valued guests as well as utilize the byproducts of the hive(beeswax) to create truly special expressions of property sustainability.
Filled with lessons of teamwork and dynamic action, our corporate honeybee program is designed with you, for your business.
Rescued Hives vs Farmed Hives
What is a rescued beehive?
A rescued hive comes about when honeybees are found in unwanted paces are humanely and safely relocated to the Bee Leaf USA Honeybee Sanctuary. Unwanted places can be everything from the interior of building wall, water meter boxes, the floor of a shed, or any place that provides them shelter, airflow, and easy access to enter and leave. Rescue and Relocation is the humane and safest option for removing bees as extermination releases harmful chemical into the air we breathe and the overall environment. By choosing to rescue and relocate, you help maintain the pollination power of the planet and simply shift it to a wanted place, instead of snuffing it out entirely.
For many reasons rescued honeybees are special. One reason is because each rescued colony was once feral and learned how to navigate our world without the guidance of a beekeeper. This alone demonstrates the strength and willpower the colony has to survive.
What is a farmed hive?
Farmed hives, on the other hand, are raised on bee farms where they are not required to forage from wild plants, find a home, or defend much of anything. This is because bee farmers feed their bees massive amounts of processed sugars and pollen substitutes to increase their numbers. They are then shifted around the country to produce farms that have easily accessible blossoms for the bees to pollinate. This creates weaker characteristics as their list of challenges have been minimal and in a controlled environment. Additionally, they are more sensitive to environmental changes and often cannot stand up to the test of the elements.
This particular colony was very strong for its timing in the season. Bee Leaf USA got the call-in early March to inspect some bees that took up residence in the vent of a two-story home. Upon inspection we found an enormous colony that could only be removed from the roof. We then removed tiles, cut a hole in the roof, and exposed the colony. After a grueling 6 hours of removing comb from a small attic space, we were able to locate and cage the queen. Next, we completed the comb removal and arranged it into a honeybee box with the queen. Soon after the bees made their way into the box allowing us to repair the roof and relocate to the bees to the Honey Bee Road Sanctuary.
Encinitas Balcony Bees
This rescue took place in Encinitas, CA where the honeybees had gained access to the empty space below a second story balcony where a 4’x6’x2’ space created the perfect home for the bees. Entering through a hole in the stucco, the bees built 10 neatly organized honeycomb filled with baby bees and honey. After creating a larger whole to expose the colony we relocated the bees, comb, and queen into their new bee box. We kept the newly housed bees until the end of the evening to allow the foraging workers time to reunite with the colony before relocating it. These bees too have been highly productive!