NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of bees are swarming the rooftop of a famed New York City hotel.
But as CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Thursday, the bees are buzzing around on purpose.
Way up on top of the iconic Waldorf Astoria sits a new lush green garden filled with planting beds of different vegetables and herbs. There are also six hives brimming with thousands of honey bees.
This summer marks the second year the hotel is harvesting its own honey.
“We’re taking frames out that the bees have made honey, taking the wax cap off, putting them in an extractor and taking the honey out and straining it. That’s all there is to it,” the Waldorf’s Executive Chef, David Garcelon, told Gainer.
Garcelon said honey is a versatile ingredient infused in many of the dishes in his kitchen.
“We made a chilled strawberry soup that’s sweetened with rooftop honey,” he told Gainer. “We’ve prepared a seared scallop that’s glazed with some of the rooftop honey that we infused with habanero pepper, so it’s a spicy honey.”
Hotel guests said the fresh ingredient makes a huge difference.
“I’ve never tasted anything so good in my life. But don’t tell my wife,” one diner told Gainer.
The hotel also makes use of the sweet treat outside the kitchen.
“Even in our spa, we serve a honey lemonade to the guests as they’re waiting for their treatments and then there’s a treatment that actually uses the honey as well,” said Garcelon.
Whether it’s for food or beauty, Chef Garcelon said he and the hotel staff are most proud of being able to use locally grown ingredients.
Each day, the hotel said it takes in about 150 to 200 pounds of honey from the hives.
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