Eco-friendly buzz at the Fairmont

The goal: to create a new brand for the hotel, and sell food and gifts made from honey from the rooftop's resident bees.

Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel is taking eco-friendly and sustainable ideas to new levels this year with the introduction of three new hives in its rooftop garden.

The beekeeping initiative was the idea of Fairmont’s executive chef David Garcelon (pictured), who partnered with the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative and FoodShare. The goal was to create a new brand for the Fairmont, featuring food and gifts to sell using honey from the rooftop’s resident bees.

To give back to the community, it created the bee-oriented getaway package ‘B&B & BEE’ from July 5 to September 1, with one dollar from each booking going toward the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative.

The word-of-mouth, PR-driven campaign includes a weblog and podcast that can be accessed via Fairmont’s site. In August, a video about the bee initiative will air on YouTube. GreenHAT Digital produced the podcast and provided the communications support and consulting on the web 2.0 platform.

The Fairmont plans to bee-ify two more of its hotels: the Fairmont Algonquin in New Brunswick and the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver.