Get a taste of the hive in these honeybee-loving U.S. cities.
As bees continue to be plagued by a mysterious syndrome that leaves queen bees without workers, more communities are supporting these natural pollinators. “The lack of knowledge about bees is astounding”, says Phyllis Stiles, director of Bee City USA, a nonprofit certification program launched to raise awareness and create sustainable habitats. The focus on the plight of bees has spurred interest in the sweet syrup they produce, giving people an opportunity to sell, cook, and experiment with honey. Travelers can help. Make a beeline for these cities:
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Bee City USA was founded here, making the city the original hub of honey. There are honey festivals, themed stores (the Asheville Bee Charmer), and spa treatments (Grove Park Inn). The North Carolina Arboretum declared 2016 the “Year of the Pollinator.”
This tiny city (pop. 6,503) is home to Wylie’s Honey Brews, creator of artisanal sodas sweetened with raw honey. With three Oregon Bee Cities (the others are Ashland, which is hosting a honey fest this August, and Talent), the bee bug has spread statewide.
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel maintains an 18-hive rooftop apiary that produces a whopping 600 pounds of honey annually. Try the Pike Honeymoon Suite, an ale made from the rooftop’s bounty, or the roots salad with toasted bee pollen. Bees in Corvallis, Oregon, help pollinate sage neldi (top). Seattle’s Pike Honeymoon Suite ale (above), uses honey from the Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s rooftop hive.