It’s the ‘Bee’s Knees’ at the InterContinental Boston

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On April 30, 2011, the fifth-floor roof deck at the InterContinental Boston, a luxury AAA Four-Diamond hotel located on Boston’s waterfront, was abuzz as two new beehives have been added to Boston’s first hotel apiary. The InterContinental Boston is only one of two hotels within the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand worldwide with an on-property apiary (the other is the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto in Australia). This July and September (National Honey Month), the InterContinental Boston will be harvesting its honey which will be used throughout the hotel. SPA InterContinental, the hotel’s 6,600 sq. ft. spa and health club, will use honey in select treatments, new spring/summer cocktails will incorporate the sweet stuff and Miel “Brasserie Provençale”, a Provence-inspired brasserie (Miel means ‘honey’ in French) will be offering new honey-infused menu items in addition to a three-course “Honey Harvest Dinner” ($75 per person including wine pairing) on Tues., Sept. 20, 2011.

InterContinental Boston has been working with a local bee expert to set-up the beehives and train InterContinental Boston’s Sous Chef, Cyrille Couet, the hotel’s Urban Bee Keeper, on bee keeping. In late spring 2010, InterContinental Boston introduced the first 10,000 honey bees to Boston’s first hotel apiary. The colony grew to 40,000+ by September 2010. The bees survived Boston’s harsh 2010/2011 winter and on April 30, 2011, two additional beehives of 10,000 bees each have been added to the apiary. Throughout the season, the bees will be hard at work pollinating the flora of an approximate 4-5 mile radius of the hotel which includes Boston’s expansive 21-acre green space, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, upon which the InterContinental Boston sits and InterContinental Boston’s own waterfront floral and herb gardens. Once home – and they always return – the bees produce honey. By late summer/early fall 2011, the colony will grow to an estimated 120,000+ bees, the fruits of whose labor is slated to be harvested in July and in September. It is anticipated that more than 180 pounds of honey will be harvested over this season! For guests to glimpse the honey bees in action, in Miel “Brasserie Provençale” is a 24/7 “Bee T.V.” which showcases a live camera feed from the apiary.

Honey has also find its way into new 2011 spring/summer cocktails at InterContinental Boston and each of the three outlets sweetens its offerings with a special cocktail that features house-made syrup crafted from the hotel’s own honey. L’Orange Miel, the new cocktail in Miel “Brasserie Provençale”, consists of Pierre Ferrand 1er Cru Cognac, Grand Marnier, fresh clementines and honey syrup. RumBa, the hotel’s popular and award-winning rum and champagne bar, features a Honey Ginger Caipirinha with Leblon Cachaça, Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur, fresh limes, ginger and honey syrup; and Sushi-Teq, specializing in sushi and more than 100 tequilas, launches a tweak to a margarita with Lights Out Over Boston with Milagro Silver Blanco Tequila, fresh lemons and honey syrup.