The ‘Rees bees’ community project
The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s new sustainability and community initiative
The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s new sustainability and community initiative is a brand-new apiary operation and eco initiative set within a three-kilometre radius of the award-winning Queenstown property.
In a vacant site next door to the lakeside property, local beekeeper Nick Cameron has identified the perfect spot for a young colony to thrive and build honeycomb amongst an enormous patch of broom in several custom-made galvanised steel hives.
Under the cover of darkness at two o’clock in the morning, he transported the hives to the site to ensure that the entire workforce was moved all at once.
“For anyone with a fruit tree or a vegetable garden, these little guys are going to be doing a favour for everyone around the Rees as they’ll be be travelling around the neighbourhood actively pollinating,” Cameron says.
The 3,000 new Rees recruits of Italian descent with their healthy Queen are expected to morph into a family of 40,000 and produce 25 kilograms of honey by next season for harvest.
The honey will complement The Rees Head Chef’s hand churned butter and feature as a key ingredient in ‘Bees Knees’ cocktails. Most importantly however, it reinforces the luxury hotel’s long-term plan for reducing carbon footprints by utilising as much local produce as possible.
The Rees bee-friendly project in New Zealand’s top tourist destination is part of a global initiative amongst luxury operators like the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Mandarin Oriental in Paris and the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Hyde Park.