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Apiary on Boston hotel rooftop is the bee’s knees

June 9, 2011

I’ve long been fond of the Intercontinental Boston; it has an amazing summertime patio by the water that fills up quickly with people lounging and enjoying a libation among flowers and umbrellas. It feels like quintessential summer. I’m now even more fond of the hotel because I found out that they host more than just people in their hotel, they also host bees. They have a rooftop apiary and currently have over 40,000 bees (they plan to have 120,000 bees by the end of this summer).

Sous chef Cyrille Couet tending to the bees / via love tomorrow today

The bees pollinate a radius around the hotel of between 4-5 miles and the hotel benefits by collecting honey. The honey is harvested and used in the cocktails and dishes on their menus and even in spa treatments.

Tim Kirwan, General Manager of the hotel says, “We have been an active member of Pollinator Partnership, a national non-profit organization working to protect the health of native pollinating animals vital to our North American ecosystems and agriculture and bees are an important element in the sustainability of nature.”


The plight of the honey bee has gained some attention, but many people would be surprised to know that 90% of the wild bee population in the U.S. has died out. The cause of many colony collapses and species declines is relatively unknown but may be related to the amount of chemicals we use to manage landscapes.

I’m really happy to hear of local efforts in urban beekeeping — its the bee’s knees!

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