The roof of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Frankfurt is home to a large number of busy little helpers! For thousands of bees, the round, glass hotel is their home, and from here they fly daily to the neighboring parks, house gardens, alleys and green areas of the city.
What may seem unusual at first glance is actually part of a growing trend, and the concept of “Urban Beekeeping” has firmly established itself in many cities in the world.
The importance of bees
Albert Einstein is supposed to have said: “Once the bee disappears from the earth, man has only four years to live”. This importance of bees is not known to many. Without these hardworking little helpers there would not only be no honey; fruit and vegetables would not be available in their many varieties. Around 80 per cent of the plants depend on pollination; therefore bees provide a fundamentally important contribution to the growing of good crops and the preservation of biodiversity. Following the cow and the pig, the honeybee is the third most important creature in Germany!
Urban Beekeeping is no longer a rarity in many cities, and, in order to help counteract the acute problem of bee mortality, many people and companies want to contribute to environmental protection. However, one must not forget that the bees and beekeeping are very complex themes. Capable of air speeds of 20-30kmh above ground, bees can be up to 3km from their beehive. Therefore regular control is essential to ensure that the bee swarm is kept together. The health of bees is also an important issue and is nothing be taken lightly. As exemplary as all these good intentions are, if not done correctly they can often have a negative, opposite effect , and therefore a course in beekeeping given by a beekeeping club is highly recommended.
The bees and Radisson Blu
The Radisson Blu hotel in Frankfurt is not the only one to sweeten the guests’ stay with its own honey.
The Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel in Riga also has beehives on its roof, and produces not only honey but brews its own honey beer. Bee colonies also call the roof of the Radisson Blu Mall of America hotel their home, with their honey being included as a natural ingredient in a variety of dishes. Honey is also produced by our neighbors in Belgium, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels; there, more than 80,000 bees produce honey. This honey is collected once a year and used as one of the main ingredients in the morning “Super Breakfast Buffet”. The Radisson Blu Hotel at Noordwijk-aan-zee also keeps bees that work very hard.
Beekeeping is seasonal work, with the bees swarming out to do their work between April and October. The quality of the honey produced in the Radisson Blu centrally located hotels is perfect, something that is helped by one of the main advantages of inner city beekeeping, with the pollen being less contaminated by insecticides.