What's the Buzz: Omni Dallas Hotel Adds Rooftop Beehives - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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What's the Buzz: Omni Dallas Hotel Adds Rooftop Beehives

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    Omni Dallas Hotel Adds Rooftop Beehives

    Walter Schumacher, CEO of the Austin-based nonprofit American Honey Bee Protection Agency, helped install bee hives on the roof of the Omni Dallas Hotel, where executive chef Donald Chalko said the harvested honey will be used in food served to guests. (Published Monday, July 27, 2015)

    Some North Texas bees are getting a second chance, and fans of honey could be the real winners here.

    The bees were collected from homes and businesses who saw them as a nuisance. But instead of destroying the bees, the Austin-based nonprofit American Honey Bee Protection Agency, took them to the rooftop of the Omni Hotel in Dallas Monday.

    "Bees like to keep their hives between 95-105 degrees anyway, and the roof is about 105 degrees all the time, so kind of a perfect match for the bees," said Walter Schumacher, CEO and 'bee-czar' of the American Honey Bee Protection Agency. "And what we're going to do here is we're going to put hundreds of potted plants and basically do a rooftop garden that will both help sourcing the food in the restaurants below but also the bees. So we'll be making food for people and food for bees."

    The bees will continue to make honey up there, and that honey will then be used by chefs inside the Omni Dallas restaurant.

    "It's a great partnership with Walter and his company to bring fresh honey to our restaurant that we can utilize in different variations of dressings, marinades, cocktails and just, overall, we can utilize it in our whole hotel - not just in our restaurant but also maybe in the gift shop," said executive chef Donald Chalko.

    Schumacher said an added benefit to the hundreds of new honeybees in the neighborhood is that people who have gardens within a couple miles of the hotel will notice their plants' pollination will improve.

    The American Honey Bee Protection Agency also recently moved bees to the roof of the Central Market grocery on Lovers Lane in Dallas, and there are already bee populations on the roofs at Omni properties in Austin and San Antonio.

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