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Busy Bees

Carolyn Jung | October 12, 2016 | Lifestyle Story City Life National

The newest guests to check into the Fairmont San Jose are creating a buzz. They are wild mason bees ensconced inside very special accommodations: a bee “hotel” that resembles the actual Fairmont, complete with pitched green roof. It’s one of more than 40 bee hotels and apiaries now at Fairmont hotels worldwide.

Fashioned from recycled wood and installed this summer on the South Tower rooftop, the bee hotel provides a thriving habitat for the reproduction of wild mason bees. It joins four honey beehives placed on the roof last year. Unlike honey bees, mason bees don’t produce honey. Instead, they are far more prolific pollinators, an especially important asset since many crops depend upon pollination to produce. Over the past decade, bee populations have plummeted due to habitat loss and colony collapse disorder, according to San Francisco’s Pollinator Partnership, an organization dedicated to the protection of bees, which consulted on the Fairmont project.

Savor the hotel’s sweet rewards with a $25 two-course Bee Pollinator Lunch Menu in the Fountain Restaurant with dishes spotlighting ingredients that rely on bees for pollination, such as Cali Poke with albacore, macadamia nuts, edamame, carrots, pickled cucumber and fennel pollen. Book a Bee Sustainable Package, which includes a 10 percent room discount, $50 dining credit and $10 donation to Pollinator Partnership. 107 S. Market St., San Jose, 408.998.1900

Originally published in the September issue of
Silicon Valley

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