By Alexis Baran
There’s a buzz in the air at Vancouver’s downtown harbour, and it’s coming from the rooftops. Environmentally-conscious Vancouverites are well aware of the global honeybee decline, and the Fairmont Hotel Waterfront has taken initiative to help them thrive by including a “bee hotel” on the roof of the (human) hotel.
The top of the Fairmont Waterfront is a hidden garden you can visit, with 2,400 sq ft of greenspace, which is the perfect neighborhood for approximately 250,000 honeybees. The bees do have to pull their weight for rent in the prestigious waterfront neighborhood; in exchange for their home in the skyline, the bees produce 600-800lbs of honey per year, which is a vital ingredient on the menu items downstairs in cocktails, chocolate, desserts, salad dressing and even their signature Fairmont ‘Stinger’ Lager. Yes, you can drink the beer that the bees helped make.
The bee hotel was built by Hives For Humanity — a local non-profit organization that encourages community connections through beekeeping — and is part of the Burt’s Bees Canada and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Wild For Bees partnership that launched in 2014. The partnership has opened 21 bee hotels across the country. These bee accommodations serve as vital habitats for solitary bees to procreate and in turn contribute to a healthier pollinator population in Canada.