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SARASOTA, FL – September 2015—Approximately one year after President Obama’s announcement of the creation of a task force to address the national honeybee shortage, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota introduced its house-made, local honey at a press event that educated attendants about the importance of the fostering of honeybees. The honey was utilized in a variety of ways, including in food, in spa treatments, and in cocktails.

Members of the media were able to taste Sweet Potato Gnocchi, served with roasted mushrooms, crispy pancetta, lemony arugula, parmesan fondue and a honey-brown butter syrup, which will be served at the resort’s Golf Club Grille; Honey Braised Pork Shank with blistered jalapeno creamed corn and crushed Yukon gold potatoes, served in Jack Dusty; and Honey Orange Bread Pudding, served at the Beach Club.

Attendees also sampled some of the Spa’s honey treatments, which include a honey facial, a whipped honey salt scrub, and honey butter reflexology.

“Honeybees are crucial to environmental sustainability, and at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, we are committed to doing as much as we can to protect our beautiful surroundings as well as our food supply,” said Damien O’Riordan, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. “Since much of the produce used in our four dining establishments as well as our hotel is local, we understand the grave danger our country would be in if we do not foster these beehives to increase the pollinator count. An added bonus to our initiative is the production of our own, house-made honey.”

Sean O’Brien, Director of Golf Grounds, became a certified beekeeper and has spearheaded this endeavor. “What most people don’t know is that honeybees don’t care about people unless you disturb the hive,” he said. “However, absence of honeybees in our environment has serious ramifications for our food supply. We hope that by having these hives on our golf course, we can not only help our local flowers and plants but also raise awareness about this issue locally.”