Cathy Isom tells us about the unexpected places where beehives are cropping up in an effort to save the bee population. That’s coming up on “This Land of Ours.”
From: Hobby Farms
Even though urban bees tend to be an underground find, you’d never guess to look for them in these locations.
Beekeeping is generating quite a … buzz. Some of the most productive hives are in urban areas, including a few that are kept in unexpected locations.
In exchange for their posh digs at the Ritz Carlton, the 80,000 bees that call the hotel home are required to work. Their job: Producing honey for executive chef Jon Farace to use in one-of-a-kind dishes served in the hotel’s restaurant.
About the author: Jodi Helmer is a North Carolina-based writer covering food and farming topics. Her work has appeared in Hobby Farms, Modern Farmer, E: The Environmental Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Hemispheres and Entrepreneur among others. When she’s not writing, she tosses balls for her rescue dogs, Molly, Milo, Roxie, Noelle, and Sampson; grows vegetables; and raises bees (and tries to keep her dogs from stealing strawberries and honey).
Two beehives were introduced in April 2010 as part of the hotel’s ambitious green-roof program. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Charlotte and is the first Ritz-Carlton hotel or resort to earn LEED Gold certification.
In the first six months alone, 30 pounds of honey were harvested. The presence of bees in urban Charlotte has drawn so much attention that the Ritz-Carlton introduced The Birds and The Bees experience on select dates starting in fall 2010. The package includes a tour of the green roof to see the bees in action followed by a tasting of honey pecan ice cream.
Video from: GOOD Magazine
With space at such a premium in Manhattan, New Yorkers are accustomed to thinking vertically when it comes to housing. Now bees are getting in on the action. David Graves, an urban beekeeper, tends his hives far above the bustle of New York on rooftops throughout the city. His buzzworthy honey gets rave reviews for its delicate sweetness and for the relief it offers allergy sufferers. But with Colony Collapse Disorder threatening his livelihood, we’re left wondering what a world without honey bees would be like. Not so sweet.