The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City has a few new guests who are planning to make the hotel their new home – and as long as they don’t create too much buzz, no one will even notice. What visitors will start to notice, however, is that they won’t have to go too far to find natural honey, and they’ll also notice that they can breathe a little easier as they stroll through Manhattan.
When you think about green hotels in the United States, your mind first might drift to the hotel’s promotion of reusing towels and even to the presence of water-efficient bathroom devices. The last thing that probably comes to mind is bees, but they are the first things that come to the mind of Waldorf-Astoria hotel officials in New York City, where bees are all abuzz in the green community.
The green hotel is harvesting its own honey via bees that it houses on its rooftop, and these bees also will help to pollinate plants in the heart of Manhattan. The trend of keeping bees at hotels is growing rapidly not only in the Big Apple but also in other parts of the world, including Paris (where the Mandarin Oriental Hotel this year introduced its first beehive).
At the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, six beehives are monitored on the 20th floor-roof deck, and the most mature hive has more than 20,000 bees already.
Beekeeping is a unique way for hotels to contribute to the green movement, especially in New York City, where the municipality’s plan is to plant a million trees over the next 10 years. Producing bees that can pollinate these trees not only helps to keep these oxygen-giving trees alive and healthy but also meets a third of the United States’ diet needs.
In addition, natural hotel-made honey keeps hotel workers from having to travel to purchase commercially sold honey, further reducing the need to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere via the use of transportation. Hotel guests even have the chance to tour the Waldorf-Astoria hotel beehives if they’re brave enough.
The bee buzz is not expected to die down anytime soon, not as long as more and more hotels are searching for a creative sting of green – a good kind of bee sting for both the palate and the planet.
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