This summer, our guests can look forward to a brand-new feature: since early June, we have had bee colonies at our resort, which will be providing us with fresh honey from August onwards.
Here at CERVO Mountain Resort, ecological and social responsibility are two of our key principles. Sustainability is a continuous process we wish to adhere to at all times.
An additional project in this process is our home-made honey. As our honey is produced here at our Mountain Resort, we avoid extensive transport miles, while our bees make a major contribution to our ecosystem. The herb garden we have planted offers the bees a paradise to pollinate.
By the end of May, we had completed all the necessary preparations so that the first bee colony could move into their new home on 2 June. They were then joined by two further colonies on 8 June. The CERVO bees are two- to three-year-old honey bees.
The bees' home is called a beehive. Our hives are located by the Huntsman Lodge. The hives must be positioned according to certain criteria in order to ensure that the bees can be productive.
A hive must
- be positioned where the snow melts fastest- be protected against cold northerly and easterly winds- not be positioned in pockets of cold air or on northerly slopes- be warmed by the midday sun in winter- be in the morning sunlight in summer, but protected against the hot afternoon sun (by the surrounding vegetation – planted as necessary)- be positioned near a water source where possible
It should also be easily accessible for the beekeeper(s), as they will frequently have to carry equipment, honey, sugar-water, etc.Before bringing in a new bee colony, it is also important to inform all the neighbours as well the neighbouring beekeepers.
The location of the CERVO beehives is appropriate and fulfils all these criteria.
What comes next:
The beekeeper's year is very much attuned to nature, i.e. the pace is set by the weather and subsequent progress of the vegetation.
From early June to around late-June, the bees collect honey, and all our beekeepers need do during this period is check each colony once a week to see if they are getting ready to swarm – i.e. whether the colony is raising a new queen because the old one is perhaps no longer fit enough.
When a new queen hatches, the old queen flies away with a large proportion of her colony – this is a swarm and must be prevented where possible, as the colony that is left behind is weakened.
Depending on the amount of nectar available to the bees, we begin harvesting the honey from late July to early August at the latest. To do so, we remove the thin coating of wax on the honeycomb that protects the honey, in order to then spin the comb to extract and bottle the honey.
The CERVO honey can then be enjoyed at breakfast from mid-summer onwards.