New buzz at Salamander Resort and Spa
Things are buzzing along at Salamander Resort & Spa, a luxury resort in Middleburg. The property recently formed a partnership with local beekeeper Britt Thomas, owner of Britt’s Bees, to develop the Salamander Honeybee Program.
As a result, there are 20 hives — with about 50,000 bees in each hive for a total of more than one million bees — now located at the resort. Salamander said it will start producing its own honey before the end of summer.
Since its opening in August 2013, the resort said it has attempted to leave the land as natural as possible, with 200 of its 340 acres in a conservation easement. Additionally, Salamander is committed to sourcing its food, wine and other products from as many local sources as possible.
“We are thrilled to have this program in place at Salamander and are excited to see it mature. Together, our goal is to have twenty or more colonies located around the property over the next few years. Although a small start, we are proud to make a positive impact in favor of honeybees and to continue to produce seasonal ingredients,” Chef de Cuisine Chris Edwards said in a statement.
According to an annual survey released by the Bee Informed Partnership in May 2015, about 5,000 beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of their colonies over the last year. This represents the the second-highest annual loss recorded since surveys began in 2010.
With the colony located across the resort’s Grand Lawn, Salamander said it hopes to increase awareness on the plight of honeybees and other pollinators. The bees also will also benefit the resort’s culinary garden where many of the vegetables and herbs featured on its restaurant menus are sourced.