A Hive of Activity
Honeybees and the Protection of Biodiversity
A different kind of sustainable commitment: To actively support the preservation of bees, some Best Western hotels house them on their hotel grounds and work hand in hand with local beekeepers. Not only the bees themselves benefit from this initiative, but also the hotel guests.
Bee Sustainable: Preserving the Smallest
To actively support the preservation of bees, many Best Western Hotels cooperate with local beekeepers. Some hotels even possess their own bee colonies on the hotel roof or on extensive alpine meadows. Beekeepers take professional care of the animals and harvest the honey. Through these partnerships, hotels actively support the continuance of bees in their region and thus the preservation of biodiversity. The importance of bees has been discussed for quite some time and beekeeping is considered one of the oldest practices of mankind. While they produce delicious golden honey, the harvest of crops and fruit heavily depends on them as they pollinate the plants. Furthermore, they are themselves food for other animals so they are very important for biodiversity as a whole.
Many Best Western Hotels in Central Europe are housing bees, for example the Best Western Plus Welcome Hotel Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main, the Berghotel Rehlegg in Ramsau, Bavaria, the Best Western Hotel Mainz in Mainz, the Best Western Plus Atrium Hotel in Ulm and the Best Western Plus Hotel St. Raphael in Hamburg.
"Two beehives have been installed on our hotel roof and we have taken over the patronage for the colonies. Our guests can enjoy real local honey from Frankfurt for breakfast and we as a hotel contribute to a better environment."
Andreas Kriener General Manager Best Western Plus Welcome Hotel Frankfurt
Urban Beekeeping on the Hotel Roof
The Best Western Plus Welcome Hotel Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main offers the bees who live on the rooftop a dazzling view of the Main metropolis’ skyline. A total of 50,000 “winged hotel guests” have been providing fresh honey on the breakfast buffet since summer 2021. Additionally, travelers can purchase the honey from the roof directly at the hotel as a sweet memory of their stay. To actively support the preservation of the animals and biodiversity in the city, the hotel cooperates with the German beekeeping company Salubria and beekeeper Wolfgang Zell, who has set up the hives on the flat roof of the hotel. He takes care of the professional feeding of the animals, looks after them every four weeks and harvests the honey.
Thumbs up for biodiversity: Andreas Kriener (right), General Manager Best Western Plus Welcome Hotel Frankfurt, welcomes the beehives on the hotel roof, which are supplied by beekeeper Wolfgang Zell (left) from beekeeping company Salubria.
"City bees" can also be found on the hotel roof of the Best Western Hotel Mainz: Three bee colonies reside here. The hotel cooperates with the "Soziale Stadtimkerei" (social city beekeeping), whose beekeepers regularly look after the animals. The Best Western Plus Atrium Hotel in Ulm is also committed to biodiversity and is home to three bee colonies on the hotel grounds. In cooperation with a regional apiary, guests can find honey from the hotel bees on the breakfast buffet.
The Best Western Plus Hotel St. Raphael in Hamburg has taken on a seasonal sponsorship for a bee colony that resides on the roof of the four-star hotel in the middle of the Hanseatic city. During the summer, the yellow and black hotel inhabitants live above the roofs of Hamburg and in the cold season they hibernate in the Spreewald near Berlin.
Green Travel Tip:
Schwerin - Following the History of the Honeybee
The Open-Air Museum of Folklore in Schwerin-Mueß dedicates an entire area to the honeybee with a total of five information stops on the museum grounds. From firsthand experience, visitors can learn interesting facts about the history and protection of bees as well as beekeeping. A museum guide is leading visitors from one bee colony to the other. This involves vivid insights into the world of bees and their behavior and their way of living: The bee colonies harvest pollen from meadow orchards, the village school garden, and the many gardens in Mueß. Furthermore, visitors get to know all about the keeping of bees in the past thousands of years, and its current state today. Those who want to become hobby beekeepers themselves draw a lot of inspiration from this and can obtain first contacts. Your host is the Best Western Seehotel Frankenhorst, situated in the middle of a protected landscape area and with access to one of Schwerin's many lakes, the Ziegelaußensee. Four guest houses with a total of 59 rooms and studios form the heart of the hotel, which is the perfect starting point for discoveries around the state’s capital Schwerin following the honeybee. The hotel team relies on a rich, local supplier network, runs an organic sheep farm on the hotel grounds and cultivates its own herb garden. The fine ingredients, freshly prepared for savory dishes, are served in the dedicated restaurant Bootshaus (meaning boat house). A spa and the hotel's own small marina make this traditional hotel the perfect retreat in harmony with nature. After visiting the adjoint lakeside sauna, a peaceful break on the shores of the glistening lake promises pure relaxation. Water sports such as sailing, canoeing or stand-up paddling offer more activity. Furthermore, the hotel's wellness area offers a swimming pool, infrared cabin, Finnish sauna, and bio sauna.
The Fact Check
Honeybees on Hotel Roofs: Six Facts About Urban Beekeeping
Urban beekeeping, i.e. keeping bees in a (large) city, emerged in Paris in the mid-1980s. In New York, too, private owners have been keeping bee colonies on rooftops for some time. In recent years, the trend has also made its way to German cities.
The city is a great habitat for the winged insects: They find a huge variety of plants in urban parks, tree-lined avenues, gardens, and on balconies – that makes the city quite a good place for feeding.
Urban plants are hardly polluted with pesticides. Other toxins such as emissions and dirt particles are simply filtered out of the nectar by the bee, making city honey exceptionally uncontaminated.
The honeybee loves warmer temperatures: In the city, it is often two to three degrees warmer than in the surrounding countryside.
City honey tastes more diverse, because the busy little bees find a wide range of nectar sources, from flowering trees to exotic balcony plants. In the countryside, on the other hand, monocultures often prevail due to agriculture.
And not only on hotel roofs, but also on top of well-known buildings, bees feel at home. For example, beehives can be found on the Berlin Cathedral or the Bavarian Parliament in Munich.