Hive Mentality: Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto is Abuzz with the Addition of a Bee Wall

In Ontario, Canada, honeybees are checking in on Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto’s third floor Garden Terrace at the new Bee Wall installation. The hotel has partnered with Birks, Canada’s leading jeweler, and Alveole, a Montreal-based organization that promotes and assists with beehive installation, maintenance and honey extraction, to create and manage the wall.

Since the late 1990s, concerns about colony collapse disorder in North American beehives have been growing. The hotel hopes the Bee Wall will not only aid the community by providing bees to pollinate the downtown area gardens and parks, but also provide local and sustainable honey for use in the hotel’s food and beverage outlets.

The Bee Wall is made of wax that the bees secrete themselves. Over the season, guests will be able to see through glass the development of the Bee Wall, built by the bees themselves. The wall contains about 50,000 honeybees and is anticipated to yield approximately 20 kilograms of honey by winter in 2015.

Chef Campbell and his culinary team will create a feature tasting menu using the hotel-made honey, which will debut later in 2015 at Bosk restaurant. Additionally, the hotel’s Lobby Lounge will offer custom cocktails with honey as an ingredient, and the pastry team will add a honey High Tea menu option to the daily High Tea offering. Further, guests wanting to sweeten their taste buds will be able to purchase jars of hotel-harvested honey to take home with them. The spa located in the hotel, Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie, will also utilize the honey in a honey and wine body wrap.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with our valued partner, Birks, on this important initiative,” said Richard Cooke, general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. “We believe strongly in sustainability, being environmentally responsible and using locally-sourced ingredients and we look forward to offering guests inventive new dishes featuring our very own home-harvested honey.”

We look forward to watching the wall develop and tasting the sweet additions to the hotel’s dishes! Check out what our other hotels are doing to support the honeybees.