Every year on August 18, the world celebrates National Honey Bee Day to raise awareness for the bee industry and the honey bee’s importance to the global ecosystem. What was once a small observation started by grassroots beekeepers has grown into a widely-celebrated global event.
Check out how some of our hotels celebrated honey bees before, during and beyond August 18.
Prior to National Honey Bee Day, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius welcomed its newest neighbors to the resort – 10 beehives. The beehives were added to the resort’s orchard to promote natural cross-pollination and provide fresh hotel-harvested honey to its guests.
Tony, a villa butler at the resort, has extended his title to also include Beekeeper after learning how to care for the hives.
“It’s hard to think of a more passionate hobby than beekeeping,” said Tony.
On August 18, the resort joined in global celebrations by inviting guests to see the beehives up close during guided tours.
In Indonesia, Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya and students from MI Nurul Huda, the hotel’s EMBRACE beneficiary, celebrated National Honey Bee Day with a visit to Agro Tawon Wisata Petik Madu, a local apiary in Lawang, Malang. During the outing, beekeepers taught students and volunteers the importance of honey bees and the beekeepers’ duties including knowledge of the hives and equipment, honey extraction, and candle-making. Following the talk, the attendees got up close and personal with the insects when they held the bees in their own hands.
“We all can get a little nervous when we hear a bee buzzing close by, but this was different,” said Fajar Mulya, executive communications manager at the hotel. “The students were very excited to be there!”
"At first, I was very afraid about being stung as I have bad experiences with bees," said Guntur, a student from MI Nurul Huda. “Now the bees don’t scare me at all!”
In Canada, honey bee celebrations continued throughout the summer as Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto served up its specially-brewed B-Wall Honey lager. In collaboration with Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, an Ontario-based brewery, and in line with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ group-wide sustainable culinary initiative Rooted in Nature, the B-Wall Honey Lager beer was produced with locally-grown and sustainable products, including its main ingredient – honey extracted from The B-Wall.
In 2015, Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto installed the B-Wall, a rooftop urban beehive that houses 50,000 honeybees, in partnership with Birks, Canada’s leading jeweler, and Alveole, a Montreal-based urban beekeeping organization. Through the initiative, the B-Wall yields over 20 kilograms of honey each season and is used as ingredients in dishes and desserts served at Bosk, cocktails served in the Lobby Lounge, and the B-Wall Honey Lager beer.
In Australia, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney was the first hotel in the city to join the urban beekeeping trend when it partnered with The Urban Beehive in 2013. Today, the hotel hosts eight beehives on its rooftops, which produces naturally-harvested honey that is handspun without heat treatment. The hotel’s colony of bees have produced over 18 kilograms of honey.
The hotel-made honey is used in the hotel kitchens for dishes, is on sale in the Lobby Lounge by the tube and jar, and raw unfiltered honeycomb is on offer at Café Mix’s breakfast buffet and Horizon Club Lounge. Guests can experience the bees up close twice a year when the hotel hosts an exclusive Honey Masterclass al fresco dinner in collaboration with The Urban Beehive and the resident beekeeper Doug Purdie.
Visit our hotels and resorts around the world to learn more about the importance of the honey bee and our continued support of beekeeping.