Colorado's honeybee die-off reached nearly 38 percent this year, the Denver Post reported last week. That is just two percent below the national average. Eater has found a commitment in many of Denver's restaurants, hotels, and breweries to prevent further die-off and educate eaters about bee conservation.
"Bees produce a concentration of flower nectar that is the essence of local flora, vitamin and nutrient rich, with antiseptic properties, helps with allergies, and is shelf stable for thousands of years," says Ian Clark, beer chef and founder of BRU Handbuilt Ales and Eats in Boulder. Clark is a home beekeeper who uses backyard honey as often as possible in his beers. Beezel, BRU's Belgian-style golden strong ale, is made with local honey, black pepper, and bitter orange.
The Warwick Hotel in Uptown announced the addition of rooftop beehives last year, an effort much like the Bee Royalty Initiative at the Brown Palace Hotel. Both sets of rooftop hives produce honey that's used in the hotels' food program. At the Warwick, the honey is used in the kitchen at Randolph's Restaurant and for bitters at the bar, while at the Brown Palace, the honey is served at the hotel's Afternoon Tea.
Teakoe Tea, which produces small batches of iced tea and chai out of Lakewood, donates a portion of its proceeds directly to building beehives. Teakoe partners with Frangiosa Farms in Parker and also supports private home hives in Denver and Lakewood. Click here to learn more about Teakoe's hive programs, and look for Teakoe Tea on the menu at GOZO, Cuba Cuba, Argyll, and Sassafras, among others.