Story, photos by Deja Cromartie
Explore Philly was on the scene to celebrate National Honey Bee Day and savor the delectable honey produced by Sofitel’s rooftop bee hives with the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. Sofitel and Liberté Lounge take their advocacy for the freshest ingredients to a whole new level – the Fifteenth Floor, as a matter of fact. The hotel and restaurant lounge plant an annual seasonal rooftop garden and provide a home for 100,000 honeybees that yield ingredients for Liberté Lounge’s menu. We had the pleasure of meeting the beekeepers from the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild as well as sample honey from the Sofitel hives and other hives around the city. We also enjoyed savory bites prepared by Executive Chef Luke Rogers using the honey and ingredients from the rooftop hives and garden, which were paired with the hand-crafted signature stinger of a cocktail, the Honey Bud (Gosling’s Dark Rum, ginger, orange, lime and honey).
To learn more about rooftop gardens, check this Explore Philly story out about rooftop gardens and beehives in the city. According to the National Honey Bee day website, “Almost all beekeeping groups can help make a difference. You do not need to look too far to see zoning laws, township ordinances, and other regulatory red tape, restrictive and even the outright banning of beekeeping in some areas. Education is key. Honey bees are as important today as they ever were. A decline in native pollinators, due to a host of reasons, impacts local agriculture and many backyard gardens. Beekeepers are not just vital for large scale food production. Backyard beekeepers are vital for neighborhood pollination. And your local ecosystem of food production for wild animals and birds is dependent on this same pollination. Beekeepers fill the void with their honey bees. It is that simple.”