The Royal Sonesta was just one of the stops on the recent Chesapeake Chapter Venues Tour. Continue reading to learn about the Bee Apiary and the important role that it plays in the hotel. You will BEE amazed!
If you look into the Courtyard area of the hotel you will see a set of white boxes with a little roof on top of it. This is the home of 30,000 of our busiest employees of the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore. In May 2011, the hotel became steward of 30,000 honeybees as part of our Land, Air and Sea environmental sustainability initiative. The Honeybees is supplied by “Federal Hill Apiaries”, whose bees have been pollinating trees, plants, and flower pots in Riverside, SoBo, Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor, and even Canton.
Baltimore Honey prides itself on the raising local, genetically diverse, non-aggressive honeybees that spend their days collecting nectar and pollen from all over the City of Baltimore. Honeybees can travel up to five miles daily. We have attempted to save them all that flight time with the placement of our 7th floor rooftop herb and vegetable garden - the Land portion in our environmental initiative. Early in the morning is the best time to observe the honeybees hard at work on the 7th floor. The Honeybees need approximately 50 quarts of honey to survive through the long cold winter months. The excess honey above the 50 quarts can be harvested for use within in our amazing Chef’s creative recipes. Honeybees are unlike any other bee. Honeybees are the only "BEE" that produces food - honey for humans to consume.
Enjoy the Honey Wings recipe from their seasonal menu in Explorer's; made from their very own honey! They’re un-BEE-lievable!
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Honey Wings
10ea – Mini Wings
2 cups – Vegetable Oil
2 cups – Honey
1tbs – Crushed Red Pepper
1tbs – White Sesame Seeds
½ - Bunch Parsley
Salt & Pepper – To Taste
Place wings in a mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Mix well. Place wings on a sheet pan and baked in oven on 345 until crispy. Place honey, crushed red pepper, white sesame seeds in a sauté pan and heat until it comes to a boil. Add wings to sauté pan and toss. Place wings on dinner plate and serve.
About the Beehive Sculpture
The Art Work of Robert Benson and Rick Ames
Looking into the heart of our inner courtyard at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, hotel visitors can easily spot a golden, "Beehive" sculpture - a grand, glittering, mirrored tribute to our real live resident honeybees. When the hotel chose to begin hosting an urban apiary on their beautiful third-floor garden plaza, we spoke with Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, Founder and Director of the American Visionary Art Museum, the remarkable national museum that is our close neighbor on the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Hoffberger immediately suggested that our hotel consider commissioning an "ideal complement" to our green gardening efforts - a shining sculptural “beehive” to be made by the local visionary artist and Maryland treasure, Bob Benson.
Benson and his frequent creative collaborator, Maryland artist Rick Ames, began immediately to engineer and design their special mirrored hive. As a base to their piece, the hotel providentially found and acquired a vintage 5' x 5' beehive prop, once featured in a Montgomery Ward Chicago department store window display. Arriving in a battered and poor condition, Benson and Ames worked for several weeks to repair the piece in preparation for years of new outdoor use. They filled in all of the holes, sealed it with fiberglass and gave it many coats of primer and gold paint to ensure stability. Then it was covered with thousands of pieces of mirrors in various colors with the primary design, a series of horizontal bands. The Beehive is topped with mirrored “bees” that “swarm” in the wind. The final result of the Benson/Ames collaboration is a stunning and playful work that now sparkles in the sun, moon and city lights.
We sincerely hope that you enjoy being a part of "the buzz" and the glow and the respect for the gifts of nature and art, all very much alive here at Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore!