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Fairmont San Francisco Introduces Honey Beehives To New Culinary Garden

Initiative aims to help maintain dwindling bee population.

Monday, June 21, 2010
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Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

In partnership with Marshall’s Farm, Executive Chef jW Foster of The Fairmont San Francisco has installed honey beehives in the hotel’s new culinary garden in order to help support the bee population, which has decreased in number by 90 percent since the 1980s.

Beekeepers established four nascent beehives, each containing approximately 20,000 bees, in the culinary garden that is located outdoors on the hotel’s lobby level. When the beehives mature in four to eight weeks, they will each house up to 50,000 bees.

The United States Department of Agriculture believes a virus is responsible for the collapse of honey bee colonies. This situation is often called “CCD” or Colony Collapse Disorder. Without honey bees, pollination is not possible. The decrease of the honey bee population is extremely significant since one out of three mouthfuls in the diet is affected by the honey bee population.

Foster describes today’s installation as the first step in cultivating a culinary garden which will eventually measure 1,000 square feet. He will soon add rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, chives and cilantro to the lavender which now grows in the garden. Guests can view the culinary garden through floor to ceiling windows in the foyer leading to the hotel’s Pavilion Room.

“The cultivation of honey beehives marks the latest step in The Fairmont’s history of environmental stewardship. Our hotel has been part of the fabric of San Francisco for more than a century and its success can be contributed to an enduring commitment to the local community and environment,” explains,” Regional Vice President and General Manager of The Fairmont San Francisco Tom Klein.

This year the beehives are estimated to produce approximately 250 pounds of honey which will be served to hotel guests as part of The Fairmont’s commitment to offering local, organic, sustainable cuisine. This home-harvested honey will be used in soups, salad dressings, pastries, ice cream and as an accompaniment to the hotel’s time-honored afternoon tea service.

The Fairmont is currently the only hotel in San Francisco to raise honey bees. Honey beehives can also be found at The Fairmont Dallas; The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver; The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, Canada; The Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan, China and The Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club.

The Fairmont San Francisco offers 591 newly renovated guest rooms and suites with unrivaled views of the San Francisco Bay Area, three distinctive restaurants and easy access to the city’s most popular attractions. The hotel is located atop Nob Hill at 950 Mason Street. For reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.

Headquartered in American Canyon, Calif., Spencer and Helene Marshall of Marshall’s Farm have been producing award-winning organic honey since 1993. They currently operate beehives throughout Northern California and their honey is served at The Culinary Institute of America. For more information about Marshall’s Farm, please visit www.marshallshoney.com.

A leader in the global hospitality industry, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of 59 distinctive hotels, which includes iconic landmarks like The Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont The Norfolk, Nairobi and Canada's Fairmont Banff Springs. Fairmont hotels are one-of-a-kind properties where sophisticated travelers can discover culturally rich experiences that are authentic to the destination. Situated in some of the most exclusive and pristine areas in the world, Fairmont is committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program.

Fairmont is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a leading global hotel company with 94 hotels worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded Residences, Estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.
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