First hotel ever in Zurich with beehives sitting in their own beautiful park, Baur au Lac will be serving their guests with 100% homemade honey generated from 80,000 honey bees after the first Crop this summer.
As of April, the Baur au Lac now has four new beehives in residence on the property. Our Apis mellifera carnica bees are a gentle subspecies of the traditional Western honeybee (Apis mellifera). The hive began with 20,000 bees, including their queen and about 1,000 male bees (drones) and grows in number every day. Since the time of well-known nobles such as Empress Sisi and Imperial Wilhelm II, royal delegates have repeatedly chosen to lodge at the Baur au Lac and the tradition is now going to be continued with four new ‘queens.’
Behind the walls of the mini Baur au Lac, there certainly are not 80,000 rooms and suites but boxes, in which honeycombs out of wax are hanging. The honeycombs are both nursery and storage space. The young bees grow up in the honeycombs, and honey as well as pollen are stored there. These five-star bees are enjoying their exclusive site, located in the middle of the garden and with a view of Lake Zurich right in the centre of town.
Before moving to the Baur au Lac, the five-star bees were living high above Lake Lucerne. Now, they have been collecting nectar and pollen for some time. The collected nectar will be passed on from one bee to another several times in the apiary. During this process, every bee adds special enzymes, which continuously change the sugar composition. Sucrose, for instance, is being segregated into fructose and glucose. The outcome of this natural process is honey. The honey will be dried up and deposited in the wax by the bees. A bee colony needs 60 kg honey, 30 kg pollen and 20 litre water every year. The beekeeper will withdraw 20 percent of the honey, thus about 12 kg per colony. One single bee produces about one teaspoon of honey in its entire life. For a 500 gram honey jar, at least two million visits of blossoms are required. To reach those, bees fly in a radius of three kilometres around the beehive, which means they can reach the Zoo Zurich or the Prime tower.
This summer, after the first crop, our guests will be able to enjoy our 100% homemade honey at the breakfast buffet, or extend such enjoyment to family and friends by buying the 295 gram glasses of honey at the Baur au Lac Kiosk in the Lobby. Honey from the city enjoys the distinction of having less pesticide and fungicide. Compared to honey from the countryside, where there are many more monocultures, the honey from the Baur au Lac will have a more multi-variant taste. The Baur au Lac is the first hotel in Zurich to have their own bee colony and, we are very proud to welcome our new employees in their black-yellow uniforms.