The hotel announced today that it recently installed two honey bee beehives on its roof. In addition to creating a haven for a globally depleted honey bee population, the cause of which is as yet unknown, the hotel also plans to harvest the honey produced by the bees.
“Bees are one of nature’s most industrious workers, not only by making delicious honey, but by helping to pollinate and sustain much of the planet’s plant population, too,” said James Barrett, hotel executive chef. “My father introduced me to the hobby of apiculture some 30 years ago, and I’ve since become somewhat of an avid apiarist myself. As he told me then, ‘Bees have been around forever, and if you sit back long enough and watch them, they will teach you.'”
The two hives, made of ponderosa pine wood, are approximately two feet tall and will vary in size depending on the time of year. In the late fall and winter, the hives are made up of two chambers to house the insects, but in spring and summer multiple boxes, or supers, will be added for honey production. The hives will be located on the hotel’s second story rooftop, visible to all guest rooms that face the front of the hotel. The hive area is covered with rocks to create a Zen-like rock garden feel. Each hive is expected to produce up to 60 pounds of honey annually.
Chef Barrett plans to use the honey in a wide variety of signature dishes, including honey lacquered hot smoked salmon. He already is working on new specialty dishes, such as old bay honey cashew brittle, to make further use of the sweet crop.
Now, as long as no one knocks over the hives and sends the bees swarming over City Dock, we will “bee” in good shape!