Holiday Inn's Hair-Raising Bee Extraction

Hotel to welcome rooftop apiary and garden soon

photo courtesy of American Honey Bee Protection Agency

The Holiday Inn overlooking Lady Bird Lake has been hosting a large number of unwanted guests, but rather than simply having them exterminated, the hotel wisely called on the American Honey Bee Protection Agency to relocate the massive bee colony and set up rooftop hives for the future.

Folks driving north on I-35 about 2pm on Sunday, July 12, saw a man completely encased in a white suit shimmy down the side of the lakeside hotel. Bee wrangler Ryan Tanner from the AHBPA suited up and rappelled down to the 11th floor of the hotel to extract the huge hive on Sunday.

That particular bee colony will be relocated, and then AHBPA will return to install five hives in a rooftop apiary for the hotel. We're told the next phase will be a rooftop garden, much like the one installed at the W Hotel a few years back. Perhaps one day soon the Holiday Inn will also serve honey made on the property to their guests.

The Downtown hotel becomes AHBPA's third bee colony extraction this year, including one from the GSD&M advertising agency building on West Sixth and another from the Omni Colonnade in San Antonio. Saving the tiny but crucial pollinators is the all-important goal of the nonprofit AHBPA, according to CEO Walter Schumacher. "Our mission is to protect feral honey bees from extinction through education, relocation, and legislation," says Schumacher, who recently helped pass a resolution in the Texas Legislature naming the honey bee as the official state pollinator of Texas.

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