Twenty flourishing honey bee hives abuzz with more than a quarter of a million honey bees are being relocated to the first of its kind rooftop apiary and organic garden atop the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Ten of the hives will be moved to the apiary this week, with the remaining 10 hives being introduced in the spring.
A special ribbon cutting ceremony and photo opportunity of the new space will take place on Friday, November 14 at 3 p.m. at the Omni Colonnade, 9821 Colonnade, San Antonio, Texas.
The honey bee hives were rescued from homes and businesses in and around San Antonio whose owners were looking to remove the bees from their properties. For the past several months, bee keepers have been working to nurture them back to full hive activity and ensure the bees are disease free with good temperaments.
The new rooftop apiary will provide a new home for the honeybees where bee keepers will ensure they are properly fed, watered and have plenty of plants to keep them busy.
The unique arrangement between the American Honey Bee Protection Agency and the Omni Colonnade is an exciting first for South Texas.
“Our goal is to help rebuild our honey bee population, which has been dwindling in recent years,” says Duncan Cormie with AHPBA. “Instead of exterminating these valuable hives, we rescued them. Our bee keepers will tend to the honey bees to ensure they stay super happy. Managed hives like these tend to run off wild bee populations, and are much less likely to wander off or interact with humans.”
Cormie estimates the honey bees will produce approximately 2,000 pounds of honey over the course of a year. The Omni Colonnade will benefit from a portion of that honey, which they will use in dishes prepared by chefs at their Bolo’s restaurant, and offer as a condiment to restaurant guests and as a wonderful San Antonio memento from the gift shop.
AHPBA will sell the rest of the honey at H-E-B Central Market, with proceeds supporting their bee rescue programs. Cormie says 60% of the food we eat depends on honey bee pollination.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to offer the honey bees a new home at the Colonnade. We are doing our part to save the honey bees, and will literally enjoy the fruits of their labor- both in the honey the produce and the organic vegetables that grow in the rooftop garden,” said Delfin Ortiz, General Manager of the Omni Colonnade.