Swanky Royal Lancaster Hotel is abuzz with the news that it has a swarm of new guests – half a million of them to be precise.  This week 500,000 honey bees checked in to the hotel making it the first in London to install beehives on its roof. The hotel is responding to a sharp decline in honey bees, which is having a serious effect on food production around the world.  And as it’s situated next to Hyde Park, it’s the perfect place for the bees to flourish. Enough with clubbing concierges and shopping sherpas, the hotel’s elite team of ‘bee butlers’ will care for their buzzing charges and collect the 40kg of honey that they are set to produce every year.  Other non flying guests will be treated to fresh honey, served straight from the honeycomb at Island, the hotel’s chic restaurant.  Pots of honey will also be offered to VIPs and “honey”mooners, while wax from the hives will be used to create beautiful candles as gifts. The installation of the beehives is a continuation of the Royal Lancaster Hotel’s commitment to protecting the environment.  The hotel holds the Bronze Award from Green Tourism for London for its dedication to green initiatives, and was the only one to win an Award for Sustainable Tourism at the 2008 Visit London Awards. A dwindling bee population is disastrous for the honey economy as the average bee will produce only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its short lifetime – only four to six weeks in the case of the females who do all the work – so do think twice before you swat ’em!

Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
Reservations on 020 7262 6737 or visit www.royallancaster.com