In celebration of September’s National Honey Month, New York Hilton Midtown welcomed 450,000 adopted bees to the hotel’s fifth-floor, 16,000-square-foot green rooftop, five blocks from Central Park’s bevy of nectar. The six buzzing hives were escorted via a vintage yellow taxi to the hotel where hotel team members awaited their colleagues’ arrival.
The Italian, Russian and Carniolan honeybee queens – one for each hive – have been named Shelby, Ruby, Phoebe, Suite B, Beatrice, and lastly Connie as a tribute to Hilton founder, Conrad Hilton. As important as VIP guests, the VIBees will quickly become part of the landmark hotel’s ecosystem with the launch of honey-infused cuisine, beauty and specialty amenities.
Harvesting approximately 300 pounds of honey annually, the honey will enhance the hotel’s utilization of locally sourced ingredients to provide the freshest, most sustainable options to guests. As the brainchild of Richard Brown, director of culinary and executive chef, harvested honey will be incorporated into dishes to further amplify the hotel’s seasonal cuisine with items like honey-dipped fried chicken and rosemary-honey flatbreads that will soon be available at the hotel’s urban market, Herb N’ Kitchen. In addition, patrons of the recently renovated Bridges Bar can now sip on bourbon-based honey peach cobbler milkshakes and honey-kissed grapefruit cosmopolitans.
Groups seeking a sweet addition to their meeting can order from the newly debuted banquet menu offering items like whipped ricotta cheese crostini with honeycomb and tequila-honey cured salmon.
“Our team is dedicated to supporting New York City’s honeybee population through this new venture,” said Diarmuid Dwyer, general manager, New York Hilton Midtown. “Our commitment to urban beekeeping will now benefit both the ecosystem as well as our hotel guests who can experience the benefits of our newly welcomed beehives and embark on a one-of-a-kind stay near one of the world’s most famed parks.”
Adjacent to the beehives is a cogeneration system that has been supporting New York Hilton Midtown’s sustainability efforts since 2012 by reducing the hotel’s carbon footprint by more than 30 percent. The harvested honey will add to the hotel’s continued dedication to green initiatives and utilization of locally sourced ingredients.
Working alongside New York Hilton Midtown, fourth-generation beekeeper Andrew Coté remarks, "Hilton is not only at the forefront of the hotel industry but they also afford top-rate accommodation to some of the most vulnerable and hardworking New Yorkers – the nearly half million honeybees that Hilton has taken in as part of their effort to protect the environment. These four-winged guests reside in Midtown and enjoy all the amenities and pleasures that Hilton and New York City have to offer."
Bee buffs staying at the landmark hotel this autumn can indulge in the Autumn Apiary Package, which includes a private beekeeping experience, honey-themed turndown treats, jarred rooftop honey to take home and more.