The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, N.C, has built a home for bees on its green, vegetated roof.
The roof, where 18,000 sedum plants enhance insulation for the hotel and a chef’s garden provides organic herbs, now is home to two new beehives that will generate honey for hotel culinary use.
The two fully-contained hives will be home to up to 60,000 honeybees by the time they are fully developed this summer.
With copper roofs and custom-built stands, the hives are each approximately two feet tall by 18 inches wide, and they provide a home and secure landing zone for their docile residents.
Bees are essential to the area’s plant and pollination eco-system, and 70 pounds of all-natural, chemical-free raw honey are expected to be generated by each hive, depending upon foraging schedules, weather and nectar flow.
“Honeybees love herbs, and we’re hoping they will especially enjoy the fresh lavender growing within our rooftop garden,” says Jon Farace, executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. “Because honey is considered the flavor of the land, it is likely that the bees’ rooftop habitat and pollination of our herb garden will lend a wonderful, unique flavor to their honey.”
The hotel’s Uptown Charlotte location should also give the bees access to many hanging flowers and trees in the area, with the resulting pollination an aid both to plant growth and to protection of nature within the city.
The hotel’s chefs and Cloister Honey beekeepers will oversee the two new hives, with a special selection of sustainable honey-based dining items to be introduced at the hotel as the hives mature. The new menu choices will be offered both in The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte Lobby Lounge and on its in-room dining menus.
The Ritz-Carlton opened in October 2009 as the first LEED®-built hotel for greater Charlotte.