What Would Life Without Bees Look Like?
Between spring 2015 and 2016, beekeepers lost nearly half of their honeybee colonies.
Indeed, bees‘ survival is in flux. It can be hard to wrap our minds around what that means for us.
One luxury hotel chain tries to make the crisis accessible by showing the changes to our plates. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts just finished a new project to illustrate the decline of bees and the effect it has on our food supply.
“Life Without Bees” features three common meals and showed how they would change if bees disappeared.
“To read about the decline of bees can be overwhelming and difficult to comprehend. How could a small insect be so important to us?” Jennifer Forbes, a London-based marketer who worked on the project, tells me. “Most people would make the connection that we probably wouldn’t have honey if bees died out, but would not necessarily understand the impact on some of our most delicious and nutritious foods that are also at risk.
“By showing a selection of typical meals, and directly comparing it to how the same meals would look without bees, is quite a hard-hitting message. It shows that our lives could change quite drastically without these furry pollinators.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the first American bees as endangered just last year.
A hotel and resort chain tackling this issue seems unconventional, especially because commercial development contributes to bees’ shrinking habitats. Nevertheless, Fairmont seems like it’s putting its money where its mouth is.
In 2008, the company became the first luxury hotel to start an onsite honeybee program to help counter colony collapse disorder.
Today, the hotel maintains 40 honeybee apiaries and wild bee hotels globally, as well as on-site herb and vegetable gardens with pollinator friendly plants.
Its hives give bees a home to pollinate local gardens and parks, as well as supply hotel bartenders and chefs with local honey.
Still, it’s uplifting to see a corporate giant like Fairmont leverage its power for good.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock