First-ever Burt's Bees 'bee hotel' opens in Canada

(NC) -- An initiative to save bee populations has reached another milestone with the opening of the first in a series of sustainable hotels for bees on the rooftop terrace of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.

A 2006 report on the Status of Pollinators in North America (by the National Acadamies of Sciences) identified 'loss and fragmentation of habitat' as a primary cause of plunging pollinator populations. So four more hotel-habitats (replicating the natural nesting sites of solitary pollinator bees) are planned in Ontario by the partners on this major project. They are: Pollinator Partnership Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to this cause; leading skin care company, Burt's Bees Canada; accommodation giant, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a supporter of bees on a global scale; and property designer, Sustainable.To Architecture + Building.

“Each unique habitat design pulls inspiration from the wild,” says Paul Dowsett, principal architect at Sustainable.To. “Solitary bees – the residents of our hotels – build their nests with displaced natural materials like twigs and fallen branches. Our bee hotels, similarly, make use of urban waste, from wood trimmings to shipping pallets.”

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is also a natural partner on this eco-project since the company's commitment to bee health predates the bee hotel venture. Since 2008, Fairmont has managed a pollinator project of its own, building apiaries, or bee yards, on the rooftop terraces of more than 20 of its properties across the globe.

“And we use honey and beeswax in 95 per cent of our products,” says Carolyn Hungate of Burt's Bees Canada, “so we're thrilled to be giving back to Canadian bees as the co-sponsor of this project.”

If you would like to participate in the cause, it's worth noting that in the month of June, Burt's Bees has pledged to donate 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of its new Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut and Pear to the bee hotel initiative. This product will be available online at (in June) and at major retailers in July.


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