MIDTOWN — You really can get everything delivered in New York.
A fresh batch of bees recently arrived at the swanky InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel for the hotel’s second annual beehive installation. In addition to using the bees to supplement its honey use and help pollinate nearby city parks, the InterContinental is also planning to install a "bee cam," providing guests with a live stream of hive activity.
"Could you imagine a world without bees?" asked the hotel's director of public relations Barbara Bahny. "It would be the end of our flora as we know it."
The hotel, located on East 48th Street between Lexington and Park avenues, partners with NYC Beekeeping, which is managing the beehives while training the hotel staff to care for them.
Jim Fischer, one of the senior members of NYC Beekeeping, was on hand to install five new hives on the InterContinental's rooftop, 16 stories up with a crystal clear view of the Chrysler Building.
"These bees have come from Georgia," said Fischer, a 53-year-old Upper East Side resident who estimates he has been stung "thousands" of times. Each colony came in its own box already equipped with a queen bee and the drones who attend to her needs.
"She can’t take care of herself," said Fischer, joking that the queen bee was similar to a "high-maintenance woman."
With the new hives, complete with shiny a bronze roof, Fischer went ahead with the installation. After peeling back the wire wrapping, thousands of bees let out a collective hum as they toppled into their new home.
"They are fanning pheromones to say 'Hey, this is home,'" said Fischer, as bees filled the air around him. He pointed to certain bees who had the their rear ends in the air with wings in a flap, excreting the Nasonov pheromone.
"It's all about scent," said Fischer.
He also filled the glass enclosed observation hive on where the proposed "bee cam" will focus. The live stream will be viewable through the hotel’s blog in the coming weeks.
The hotel hopes it will draw the public's attention on how “bees contribute to the environment," said Bahny.
The InterContinental has other was of reducing its environmental footprint: an herb garden contributes to kitchen, there's composting onsite and the hotel draws 100 percent of its power from wind energy.
"The idea of hotel sustainability is spreading," said Bahny.