Always Buzzy: Shangri-La Embraces World Bee Day With Hotel Hives, Honey and More

With one third of the earth’s food production in need of pollination, bees are crucial to the environment and food sustainability. The production of seeds, nuts, berries, fruits and other various plants in many environments rely on insect pollination, and among these beneficial pollinators, bees are major players.

With this in mind, Shangri-La hotels and resorts around the world have implemented various bee programs to enrich the local environment and provide hive-to-hotel products that are unique to Shangri-La.

In 2015, Shangri-La Toronto built the B-Wall in partnership with Birks, Canada’s leading jeweler, and Alvéole, a Montreal-based organization that assists with beehive installation, maintenance and honey extraction. Conscious travelers will enjoy products made with sustainable honey extracted from the B-Wall, which now houses 50,000 urban honey bees, including honey pots, lip balm, honey, beeswax food wrap or honey soap. The items are available for international shipping from the hotel’s online retail shop.

Along with keepsakes available for takeaway, the harvested honey is used in the hotel’s culinary creations including a seasonal B-Wall Afternoon Tea, custom cocktails, and B-Wall Honey Lager on draft. With this raw, unpasteurized, hyperlocal ingredient, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery brews B-Wall Honey Lager in unique cans. Guests can enjoy the canned lager as an in-room amenity as well as purchase from the hotel’s Lobby Lounge to sip on in the comfort of their own home. For more information, please visit Shangri-La Toronto’s Lobby Lounge or its online retail shop.

In Australia, Shangri-La Sydney has eight beehives on its level three rooftop, where the honey is naturally harvested and hand-spun without heat treatment. Partnering with The Urban Beehive, the hotel’s colony of bees average 50 kilograms of honey per year, producing over 300 kilograms. As the first hotel in the city to start the urban beekeeping trend, the beehive initiative is a sustainable take on the farm to table and slow food movement.

The Rocks has proven to be the perfect playground for the Shangri-La bees, with the urban colony yielding a unique flavor of honey due to Sydney’s exotic collection of trees and flowers, and vicinity to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens on the harbor foreshore. The hotel-made honey is used in the kitchens to offer guests raw, unfiltered honeycomb, and the honey can be purchased by guests.

In Mauritius, Shangri-La Le Touessrok, Mauritius hosts its own on-property apiary. Since 2018, Villa Butler Tony Myrtle has tended to and the resort’s 10 beehives, which are located a safe distance from guests. Intended to promote natural cross-pollination, diversify the resort’s already teeming plant life and provide fresh resort-harvested honey and honeycomb to its guests, the beehives serve as a teaching tool for guests and colleagues as well as elevate the resort’s delicious culinary offerings with natural hive-to-plate ingredients. To celebrate World Bee Day on May 20, the resort will unveil the new location of its beehives and extract the latest batch of honey.

Throughout the week in Malaysia, Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu will host special activities at its on-property nature reserve, the Rasa Ria Reserve, to teach guests about the stingless bees and their importance to the environment.