10 Things You Might Not Know About the Cornhusker Marriott Honey Bees
Some of the hardest workers in downtown Lincoln might just buzz right past you. May 24th marked one year that nearly 100,000 honey bees were transported to the roof of the downtown Cornhusker Marriott to begin producing honey for the hotel.
Did you know…
- Each bee hive can produce up to 150 pounds of honey per year. In total that can add up to 600 pounds between 4 hives.
- The honey is used in The Cornhusker’s kitchen and is used in pastries and even the salad dressing.
- You can also buy the bees’ honey—appropriately named “Bee Our Guest”—in the hotel gift shop.
- The bees are maintained by Valhalla Bee Farm beekeeper Warren Nelson and his son, Trey. Valhalla is a locally owned and operated family business in southeast Nebraska.
- To relax the bees and work in the hives, they smoke the bees out by burning evergreen needles. When the bees smell the smoke they immediately gorge themselves in preparation to leave the hive—but since it’s a false alarm, they’re too full to sting anyone and will go about their business while the beekeepers work on their hives.
- The Cornhusker is the only hotel in Lincoln with bees on the roof, but it’s not uncommon among hotels around the country.
- Maintaining bee hives is great for the environment.
- The bees are well-traveled—they are Italian and were shipped to Los Angeles customs and then to Lincoln.
- The bees aren’t here to sting you—they’re too focused on their job. They go up to five miles away to collect pollen and nectar to bring back to the queen bee. She lays about 2,000 eggs a day.
- To celebrate the bees’ first birthday, The Cornhusker brewed a special craft beer with their honey and held a party there. Hap-Bee Birthday!