60,000 Bees Helping Restaurant Serve Up Drinks, Dinner

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Things are buzzing at Table 45: about 60,000 bees are, to be exact.

The InterContinental Hotel Cleveland has installed an on-site beehive in hopes to harvest 35 pounds of pure honey per year for the restaurant there.

“People think it’s great,” said David Schoeffler, the hotel’s food and beverage director. “We’re the only hotel and restaurant in the city that has something like this, and we keep calling it a great buzz for Table 45.”

The apiary is part of the hotel’s sustainability initiative. Table 45 was recently named a Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association.

The bees live on the hotel’s fifth floor roof. Right now, they’re in the process of finding food sources and foraging for the rest of the warm months before winter.

Their honey will be used for food and drink specials but will also be bottled, labeled and sold to guests.

“We partnered with the Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association, and they’ll be working with the chefs to maintain it, keep it clean, remove the honey and make sure the bees are healthy,” said Schoeffler.

It will take about a year for the hive to become fully operational. But the restaurant plans to offer special cocktails this fall like O’Honey, Swinging at the Bees and Bee Happy, all of which include honey.

It’s the fourth InterContinental Hotel group to establish a hive. The others are in Boston and New York.