Keeping Bees at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver
Graeme Evans, director of housekeeping at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront hotel, opens a hive last week to show off the bees and their honey to guests. A beekeeper, Evans keeps beehives on a deck at the hotel. And no, he doesn’t wear protective gear. Photograph by Gerry Kahrmann, The Province
Bees cause buzz at Fairmont hotel
Three hives on third-floor deck provide kitchen with honey, guests with stories
By Christina Montgomery,
The Province Newspaper
June 7, 2009
Graeme Evans is undoubtedly Vancouver’s nattiest – and most hospitable – beekeeper.
You won’t catch Evans in one of those bulky, netted helmets and spacesuits that most of his colleagues don when tending their hives. He looks after his trio of nests while wearing a dapper, crisply pressed suit. And tie.
Then again, Evans is director of housekeeping for the posh downtown Fairmont Waterfront hotel.
And beekeeping is just part of his busy day ensuring that guest facilities pass muster.
Those facilities grew to include the hives, and a lush, bee-friendly garden surrounding them, several years ago when the international hotel chain decided to adopt a signature environmental program for each of its facilities.
Evans thought immediately of beekeeping, given what he knew of the massive threats faced by the world’s bee populations and their key role in agriculture everywhere.
The hotel liked the idea and set up the hives in what was once a pretty but nectar-free stretch of ivy bed on the north side of the hotel’s third floor above the busy downtown streets.
The hives, just metres from the spa’s outdoor pool and just across the roof from the hotel’s kitchen garden, are thriving.
And Evans’ idea has caught fire with the hotel chain. Toronto’s Royal York and New York’s Algonquin hotels both host bees now, too. So do the chain’s hotels in Dallas and Singapore, he says.
Locally, it’s meant heavier pollination of plants within a six-kilometre radius, including Stanley Park. Ultra-locally, it’s meant the hotel kitchen gardens bear massive loads of everything from apples to pumpkins.
Fairmont Hotel’s “The Birds and The Bees” Package
With spectacular views, an amazing outdoor pool and terrace, Chef’s new seasonally inspired menu plus warm and friendly service; we’re creating quite the buzz.
Enjoy a stay at The Fairmont Waterfront and learn about our commitment to the environment. We’re proud to share our 2,100 square foot herb garden complete with bird baths and 3 honey bee hives plus when you book the Birds and Bees Package you will enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast daily and special honey themed welcome amenity.
The Fairmont Waterfront is the place to bee this summer!
Full buffet breakfast for two in Herons Restaurant
Chef’s honey themed welcome amenity
Herb Garden Tour including a visit to the beehives available upon request
Next Door to The Fairmont – Bees on Vancouver’s Convention Centre
Dana Gee speaks to Allen Garr, who keeps the bees buzzing on top of the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Video by By Dana Gee and Jon Murray, The Province Newspaper.
And in today’s Vancouver Sun: Fairmont hotels get into green programs -The Waterfront, among other hotels in the chain, is into beekeeping in a big way and is earning a sweet reward for its efforts.
By Kim Davis, Special To The Sunaugust 22, 2009