By: Molly Rovero, LuxEco Editorial Assistant

Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel takes a step towards sustainability by housing a new species of guests. The plan called the Bee Royalty Initiative, was set into motion when a bee colony was placed on the hotel’s roof to produce honey. The sweet new product made by 20,000+ worker bees is to be used for afternoon tea with future plans for special recipes and spa treatments.

Bee population has been on the decline which has had detrimental side effects. The Denver Beekeepers Association calls it the Colony Collapse Disorder, stating that the reason is still a mystery. Some blame pesticides and others viruses. Regardless of the cause, the bees are a vital part of the economy in the area. An estimated 15 billion dollars worth of crops rely entirely on bees for pollination.

The Bee Royalty Initiative is part of a movement to protect the dying honeybee populations in the area. The Brown Palace Hotel is also working with the community to plant flowers that bees love in nearby parks and they have donated two hives to help establish the bee population. By working together and raising awareness the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver Bee Keepers Association, and others hope to stop the trend of death among the population and bring the bees back to healthy numbers.

Environmental contributions are not the only benefits of the rooftop bee colony, by harvesting their own honey the hotel is also moving towards sustainability. Honey produced locally means less use of resources, such as fuel required in shipping, and energy used in processing. Green roofs have traditionally consisted of plants, but this bee initiative could bring a whole new category to the market.


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