Brightly colored wooden hives full of bees now sit on top of the 12-story roof of the Renaissance Asheville Hotel as part of a program to encourage pollinator activity in downtown.
The initiative was announced at the launch party for Pollination Celebration, a week of pollinator-centric events that kicked off at the Renaissance on Thursday, June 11. At the event the hotel announced that it is now the first Asheville hotel to house bees on its roof.
“We’re hoping to put cameras up here so guests can watch the bees from their room,” says Drew Walls, operations manager at the Renaissance. The hotel also plans to add more wooden hives to accommodate the growing bee population on the roof.
The Renaissance is partnering with the Center for Honey Bee Research as the pilot site for a program to host hives on downtown roofs. Carl Chesick, director of the Center for Honey Bee Research, says he is excited to see how the rooftop housing will do at the Renaissance and hopes to see other businesses allow hives on their roofs. The French Broad Food Co-Op was the first business to have rooftop hives in downtown, though the Renaissance is the first business partnering with the Center for Honey Bee Research.
The launch party also included vendors such as Asheville Bee Charmer and Twin Leaf Brewery and environmental nonprofits including Bee City U.S.A. and Monarch Rescue. Asheville Bee Charmer held a honey tasting of honey supplied in the store. Twin Leaf Brewery offered samples of their new yunnan tea and honey infused beer, the Beeast Meets West, and Monarch Rescue led an activity where participants created seed bombs — bundles of Milkweed seeds and soil — to help create a more pollinator-friendly community.
The launch party starts a series of Pollination Celebration events that run from Saturday, June 13 through Sunday, June 21. More information of upcoming pollinator week events can be found through Bee City U.S.A. or through Mountain Xpress.
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