The roof of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is home to two fully-contained beehives whose 100,000 seasonal inhabitants assist in pollination and provide natural honey for the hotel. Seventy pounds of all-naturally, chemical-free raw honey can be generated annually by the hives, depending upon foraging schedules, weather and nectar flow.
Honey from our rooftop honeybees is used for the house-made Honey Pecan Ice Cream served in popular lobby ice cream socials at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. It is also used throughout the hotel’s kitchens, in restaurant beverages and cocktails such as our Rooftop Honey Brandy Sour, and in natural scrubs used by The Spa & Wellness Center.
As for the honeybees’ home turf, the green, vegetated roof of the 18-story Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is planted with 18,000 sedum plants to help reduce “urban heat island effect.” Because the roof’s sedum plants are flowering, they are much loved by our honeybees in particular, who live on the roof in the warmer months. The roof’s green surface also reflects, slows rain runoff and insulates the rooftop itself, keeping the hotel building cooler overall. It also cools the air around it through evapo-transpiration (or evaporation of water from leaves). In addition to its two seasonally busy beehives, the hotel roof is also the location for our chef’s garden, cultivated for hotel culinary purposes and featuring lavender, mint and other fresh herbs and greens.