April 22, 2015
Local Inn Making Its Own Honey
The Carolina Inn has begun going through the motions to produce their own honey. Employees began painting the boxes that will house two started colonies earlier this week as the Carolina Inn will be sponsoring the hives at Just Bee Apiary in Chapel Hill. The bees will be placed on April 27 with the first batch of honey being harvested by the end of the summer months. The current plan is for the honey to be sold at the Inn’s gift shop as well as being used at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
The supervisor of Carolina Inn’s gift shop, Imane Hedadji, helped paint the boxes and is invested in the project based on the projected revenue honey sales will bring for both the gift shop and the Inn. “Anything that benefits the Carolina Inn — I’m in,” Hedadji said in a recent article posted on DailyTarheel.com. “It really is a miracle how bees make the honey and how they get the pollen and use it to make the honey. I really like honey and so I’ll definitely buy some.”
Michelle Voelpel, Carolina Inn’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, said that producing honey has been on their to-do list for some time. Being able to create a sponsorship with the Just Bee Apiary also aligns with another of the Inn’s values – to support local businesses and farmers in the Chapel Hill community. Voelpel also states that the expectation for producing their own honey is to bring in new business based on a new and exciting product, not to mention supporting other local businesses.
Marty Hanks, owner of the Just Bee Apiary, says that bees will travel up to a few miles away to collect pollen and nectar for the honey. Since every area of the country has unique flora and plants, each batch of honey that is created is distinct to the local geography. “Guests will be able to take a little bit of Chapel Hill with them,” Hanks says. The sponsorship between the Carolina Inn and Just Bee Apiary is mutually beneficial for the businesses, while also helping to support a struggling bee population.
Considering that bees help to pollinate almost $15 million worth of United States crops every year, supporting their populations is key for our country’s agriculture. “If we can make the world a better place for bees, then by default we are making it better for us,” says Hank. Voelpel and the Carolina Inn hold the same beliefs and wish to be part of the solution for sustaining and growing the insect’s population. “It’s not just about making honey for us,” Voelpel says. “This is an opportunity for us to tell the story of why we need bees. Without bees, there’s no food, and so we thank the bees […]”