share
by Sarah J.F. Braley | June 20, 2015

These days, if you put a touch of honey in your tea while hanging out at a hotel, chances are you are tasting the nectar harvested from a colony on the roof. While many properties are touting their waste-diversion numbers, their savings in water usage and other sustainability practices, many also are doing their best to save the planet's pollen-gatherers by building and maintaining apiaries.

Fairmont Washington D.C.Both Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Omni Hotels & Resorts have full bee programs, encouraging their properties to get in this game. Fairmont began housing the pollenators in 2008, after colony-collapse disorder, where worker bees disappear from honey colonies, started making the news. The chain now has nine properties, seven of which are in Canada, that maintain apiaries and use the "fruit" of the bees' labor in entrées, desserts and drinks. For instance, 105,000 Italian honeybees are living in three beehives at the Fairmont Washington D.C., producing about 100 pounds of honey each year.

In Canada, Fairmont has partnered with Burt's Bees to build awareness of the plight of the pollinators with a Wild for Bees campaign. This month, in celebration of Pollinator Month, the natural-cosmetics company began selling its "Honeymoon Suite" —   five classic Burt's Bees products at burtsbees.ca and the Fairmont Store at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto; all proceeds in June are being used to expand the Wild for Bees hotel initiative across Canada. To read more about how important this issue is to Fairmont, click here.

Omni Hotels' honey-infused drinkFive Omni Hotels are caring for bees: the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida; Omni Chicago Hotel; Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif; Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas; and the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Also in Texas, the Omni Dallas is in the process of jumping on the bee bandwagon. Furthering the commitment, this year the chain has partnered with the National Honey Board to create a custom menu with honey-infused cocktails and foods.

Here's a summer cocktail featured on Omni's blog post, "30 Cocktails With Honey That Are the Bees Knees":

Honey Melon Mojito

1.5 oz Cruzan Light rum
1 oz lime juice
0.5 oz clover-honey water *
0.5 oz Finest Call Bar Syrup
1 oz Finest Call Watermelon puree
6 mint leaves
Splash of club soda
Garnish: lime wedge + watermelon cube or ball + mint sprig

In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients (except the club soda) with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an iced plastic cup. Garnish.

* Honey water: 2 parts honey to 1 part hot water. Stir until dissolved. Keep in a squeeze bottle and refrigerated or on ice.

Here's to saving the bees. Cheers!