Since its inception in 2009, National Honey Bee Day is celebrated ever year on August 18 to drive awareness of the bee industry through education and promotion. International agricultural organizations support the National Honey Bee Day program to bring beekeepers, bee associations and communities together to educate the public about honey bees.
“By working together and harnessing the efforts that so many already accomplish, and by using a united effort one day a year, the rewards and message is magnified many times over,” stated the observation’s organizers, who are also beekeepers. “We encourage bee associations, individuals and other groups to get involved. The program is free and open to all.”
Check out how Shangri-La properties participated during this important day.
On August 18, The Today Show in Sydney, Australia filmed a live show from Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, showcasing the hotel’s rooftop apiary and Resident Beekeeper Doug Murray from The Urban Beehive. The segment highlighted the bees and the hotel’s commitment to the urban beekeeping movement, as well as the importance of honeybees, especially in urban environments.
Following the show, the hotel invited Diamond-status Golden Circle members on a tour of the beehives led by Doug Purdie, one of the beekeepers.
To celebrate the observation with a view, the hotel’s skilled bartenders at Blu Bar on 36 created a special honey-inspired cocktail with gin, grapefruit juice, cherry bitters, Aperol and hotel-made honey. Guests enjoyed the sweet concoction with a bee-autiful view of Sydney Harbour.
Beyond August 18, the hotel celebrates National Honey Bee Day every day with its eight beehives, where honey is naturally harvested and hand-spun without treatment.
“Partnering with The Urban Beehive, the hotel’s colony of bees have produced over 18 kilograms of honey, and is a sustainable take on the farm to table and slow food movement,” said Philippe Kronberg, general manager at the hotel. “Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney was the first hotel in the city to start the urban beekeeping trend, and The Rocks has proven to be the perfect playground for the Shangri-La bees.”
The hotel-made honey and honeycomb are used in the hotel’s kitchens and bar. The honey is available for sale in the Lobby Lounge for AUD7 (about USD5) per tube and AUD16 (about USD12) per jar.
In 2018, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei started a long-term partnership with a local bee farm to launch a series of exclusive honey products in the hotel’s restaurants and bars. The hotel offers pure honey, honey cakes, pastries and other dishes in its restaurants and cocktails in its bars, all made with honey from the bee farm. Honey is also available as a local in-room amenity to welcome guests.
“We are proud to implement this sustainable and educational program that engages both our employees and guests,” said Randy Zupanski, general manager of the hotel. “This partnership allows us to care for the earth while also provide healthier dining choices with locally-made honey.”
To celebrate National Honey Bee Day on August 18, the hotel’s Executive Chef Frank Bohdan led his team to visit the bee farm. During the visit, colleagues toured the farm and learned about beekeeping, how honey and honeycomb are extracted and processed, and benefits to the environment.
“It was amazing to visit our own bee farm,” said Jodi Cheng, the hotel’s CSR ambassador. “I felt more attached to it after visiting where all the hotel’s honey comes from! The visit gave me a strong sense of responsibility, and even more reason to support this hotel CSR initiative.”
On August 20, Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya celebrated a bee-lated National Honey Bee Day by visiting the Wisata Petik Madu bee plantation with third grade students from the hotel’s EMBRACE beneficiary, the MI Nurul Huda 1 elementary school.
“The day was full of fun, and most importantly, education on raising awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping,” said Fajar Mulya, executive communications manager.
During the visit, beekeepers educated the students about bee hives, honey extraction and the importance of honeybees to our ecosystems and for a sustainable food system.
“This was my first time to hold bees, and I never thought I’d be brave enough to be near bees,” said Rudy, one of the students. “Today I didn’t run from the bees – I even held them!”
Each student received a bottle of honey to take home as a souvenir.
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur will continue the National Honey Bee Day celebrations by introducing Royal and Tualang Honey by Dorsata Honey at Lemon Garden 2Go in September. Sourced from the rainforest in the heart of Peninsular Malaysia, the honey is harvested by the Orang Asli every three to four months. All Dorsata Honey products are ISO 22000, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified. The certifications indicate the products are safe, hazard-free and of high quality.
Both types of honey will be available in 45-gram at MYR8.50 (about USD2), 300-gram at MYR55 (about USD13), and 700-gram glass jars at MYR85 (about USD21).
“Offering sustainable honey at Lemon Garden 2Go raises awareness on the importance of maintaining a natural environment and preserving the health of honey bees,” said Neena Dewi, director of communications at the hotel. “We hope this initiative will encourage the public to shop sustainably and pick the best products for their wellbeing.”
Congratulations our teams around the world for the un-bee-lievable work!