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The Buzz on Park Lane

Posted by on in Insider Guide to London
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 Londons Bees

International concern sparked a grass roots urban beekeeping community that spread from city-to-city gathering pace, support and momentum as it went. Paris, Toronto, San Francisco and New York have all placed it high on their environmental agendas and in London, Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a Capital Bee campaign to encourage bee-friendly behaviour and community beekeeping throughout the city. Bees are dependent on flowering plants for resources and flowering plants often depend upon bees for pollination. Being surrounded by the Royal Parks, InterContinental London Park Lane and the Natural Beekeeping Trust have joined forces to install our very own hives on the roof of the hotel. 

Under the tutelage of the Trust, the hotel’s ‘Bee Guardians’ care for colonies housed in Golden Hives on the hotel roof; in exchange, the Natural Beekeeping Trust will receive support from the hotel to develop a Bee Garden at its base in Sussex and to launch a bursary programme. According to Miranda Hansen Lise, a trustee at Natural Beekeeping, practices such as leaving much of the bees’ honey for them to eat during the winter rather than harvesting it all are crucial to the fight against the health concerns facing bees globally. “We encourage the practice of sustainable guardianship, allowing bees to express their instincts fully through building their own comb, swarming and overwintering on their own honey, (rather than refined white sugar syrup)”. As Professor Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate and Patron of the Natural Beekeeping Trust,  counsels in her poem Virgil’s Bees, “bees are the batteries of orchards, gardens, guard them”. To find out more on the Natural Beekeeping Trust, visit www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org

THE BUZZ AROUND THE GLOBE

In addition to many other environmentally responsible initiatives, a number of InterContinental properties have started on-site apiaries. 

InterContinental Hotels in North America

InterContinental Boston’s ‘Miel Brasserie’ was one of the first to install a rooftop apiary and appropriately so. Miel means ‘honey’ in French, and many of its wonderful culinary concepts feature organically harvested honey taken right from the hotel’s own hive.

InterContinental New York Barclay has had four colonies of honeybees on the hotel’s 15th floor rooftop garden since June 2010. The ‘Barclay Bees’, as they are affectionately known, play an important role in the pollination of the hotel garden, flying between its rooftop and treetops as far away as Central Park.

In May 2012, InterContinental New York Times Square sent midtown Manhattan buzzing with the installation of its first rooftop beehive. Located on the hotel’s green rooftop, the hive is expected to produce 20-30 pounds of honey in 2013. 

InterContinental Berlin 

Berlin‘s beekeeping boom recently came to public attention when one of the city’s leading hotels, the InterContinental Berlin, installed beehives on their roof. Many other large buildings, like the Berlin legislature’s offices, have also have become home to bee colonies. A pro-bee initiative, ‘Berlin Buzz’, was recently awarded a federal grant to equip prominent buildings in Berlin with beehives.

The Buzz on Park Lane

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Guest Tuesday, 28 March 2017