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Welcome to Hotel Daniel Vienna, whose roof (on the seventh floor) is entirely given over to bees and their keeper, Dietmar Niessner. Theirs is a room with a view – the Daniel is right next to the Belvedere Palace. No wonder they’ve stayed there for three years.
There are 30 bee colonies in Vienna, five of which are at the Daniel – which means 10,000-20,000 bee guests at the hotel. Right now, they’re still collecting pollen (and will do so until the end of the month), but when we visited in January they were asleep – or “sitting close together to keep warm”, as Mr Niessner told us. Throughout the winter, he comes to give them extra sugar (organic, of course – only the best for the bees of the Daniel). The main harvest is in June-July, and each harvest produces honey with a different taste!
The bees of the Lancaster London
Uh huh honey! If Kim and Kanye are still in Europe next Monday, one place they may want to pop into is the Lancaster London which – already known for its resident bees – is now going one further by hosting the London Honey Show on 6 October from 6-9pm.
Your £1 entrance fee (to be donated to a bee charity) gets you access to tastings (including the Lancaster’s), a hive display, talks from bee experts and various stalls and exhibits. There will be food, drink and honey on sale, and it’ll also host an awards ceremony, in case you’ve always wanted to meet the London Beekeeper of the Year (oh, beehave!).
Readers, it has become an obsession.
Earlier this year, we returned home from the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta, Canada, with a few wee jars of their bee's honey. When we ran out, we were bereft. What could brighten up a cup of morning tea or bowl of yoghurt like this honest-to-goodness, tastes like real food sweet stuff?
Supermarket honey just didn't cut it, of course. To our surprise, the Fairmont folks heard our Twitter moaning and offered to send us samples from a few more of their hard-working hotel honeybees in residence.
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We thought we heard some funny noises coming from the Waldorf-Astoria last time we visited, and it turns out the hotel does indeed have some rackety new residents who have set up shop on the roof. The NY Post reports that 48,000 honeybees have been installed to make Waldorf-Astoria-branded honey, which will then be served to guests during meals as well as packaged and sold.
We would normally expect this from other, balmier destinations (like, for instance, Grand Wailea, whose honey we've tasted and enjoyed), but we guess there's no reason why New York can't get in on the fun. Come to think of it, this is something that's been done for a while now—we spotted this emerging trend back in 2010 in places like Toronto, Chicago and Charlotte. And as the saying goes, if bees can make
it honey in New York, they can really make it anywhere.
Back in April of 2010, we posited that hotels producing their own honey was becoming a trend; in fact we offered three hotels already doing their own beekeeping and honeymaking, then added a fourth: the Fairmont Vancouver Airport.
This week, the LA Times finally catches on and notes that now Montage Deer Valley, Carmel Valley Ranch and more Fairmont Hotels join the sweet list. Well, we've got yet more to add and it benefits from the addition of some celebrity names wrapped up in the beekeeping spree: Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta.
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Way back in 2008, Fairmont Hotels began placing beehives on the rooftops of its hotels to produce honey which were then used by the hotel in desserts, teas, salad dressings and even cocktails. And now, the Fairmont Honey is yours to take home.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is selling a 500 gram bottle of "liquid gold" aka Canada #1 Amber honey for $16.99CDN both in the hotel's gift shop and at a few stores in the Vancouver Airport. The honey is made by over a million bees that reside nearby the hotel as McDonald Beach Park and according to the Fairmont folks, its taste has a hint of cinnamon and apple.
Just be sure to wrap your honey jars carefully before sticking them into your suitcase as items will get sticky during the flight.