Our Rooftop Beehive
Nicknamed "6B", the Royal Hotel's sixth floor rooftop beehive arrived at the Hotel in August 2013 and has become an instant success. Over the course of early 2013 a local bee farm, Nature's Little Helper's has specially bred 10,000 honeybees and provided Hotel staff with equipment and training to look after the hive. In September 2015, a second hive was added to the roof, in light of the success of the first.
The honeybee's will travel up to 3 miles in search of pollen which will take them to the local suburbs of Cardiff, Bute Park and Leckwith Woods. Within a few month's the colonies populaton will reach over 20,000 bees and, the Hotel will start harvesting honey from the hive which will be offered to our guests for breakfast. The beeswax will be used to make candles and soaps. In 2014, the first hive produced 80 jars of honey and a further 50 jars in 2015 - the decrease was likely down to a generally colder and wetter year than 2014. In 2016, the yield from the two hives produced about 100 jars of honey, with both continuing to do well. In 2017, we harvested about 80 jars per hive. As of June 2018, we are a few weeks away from harvesting our first crop - it should be available for guests by the end of July!
Since the beehive arrived at the Royal, the project has been promoted in the local media including in the South Wales Echo, BBC Radio Wales and even featured as the location for ITV Wales' evening weather forecast in August. We are currently working with IBRA, the International Bee Research Association, which is based in Pontypridd, just 10 miles out of Cardiff. Together we hope to raise awareness of the threats to the bee population and pass on their importance to crops to schoolchildren in the local area.
If you wish to view the hive during a future stay, please speak to Reception when you arrive and if the "Royal" Beekeepers are available they will be only to happy to show you the beehive (staff permitting) - just don't forget your camera.