Fairmont St Andrews has welcomed over 20,000 dark native Scottish honey bees to the five-star resort as part of the hotel’s ongoing commitment to green tourism.
Over the past year, John Keating, the resort’s general manager, and Johnny Mitchell, head gardener, have been training to be beekeepers with The Fife Beekeepers Association. The day finally arrived this month when two bee nucleus’ arrived onto the resort.
Keating said: “I have always been passionate about bees and was really keen to introduce bee hives to the resort. Training to become beekeepers has been a fulfilling experience and I am delighted to be conducting this first hand with Johnny.”
In anticipation of hosting honey bees on the resort, over the last few years Fairmont St Andrews returned manicured lawns back to natural wild grasses that enhanced the local landscape and reduced water usage by encouraging natural wildlife and insects, helping to populate the local ecosystem. A further acre was cultivated into wild flower meadow in March 2018 to create a sanctuary for the native honey bees.
The Fife Beekeepers Association assessed the 520-acre estate to find it was in fine condition to hosting dark native Scottish honey bees due to the land being cultivated back to natural habitat for the bees to forage. The small, dark native honey bee is acclimatized to the weather in Scotland, making it ideal for the Fife resort.
The hotel is keen to educate guests on the importance of bee-sustainability and family packages featuring hive tours will be introduced as well as a wild flower meadow specifically for a bee-sanctuary. Fairmont St Andrews Honey will start to be produced in 2019, as it takes a year for each bee nucleus to develop into a substantial honey producing hive.