Happy bees make better honey!
It is a sunny morning, and thousands of busy workers are making their way to ADLER Lodge Ritten in their black and yellow uniforms. Soon, their workplace is buzzing: there are honeycombs to build, entrances to guard and stocks to store, as well as nectar to process and cleaning to do.
It’s all about perfect teamwork! Some of them fly off to the flower-dotted meadows and woods that surround the Lodge. Their mission? To provide sustenance for their community… and to sweeten the life of hotel guests with their aromatic mountain honey.
A small creature of huge importance
Bees play a key role in natural plant pollination and are essential for the preservation of our ecosystem. Unfortunately, these precious creatures are potentially facing extinction due to the degradation of their natural habitat. We, however, want to do our part in helping the bees survive human encroachment. It was this desire that sparked our collaboration with South Tyrolean beekeepers Doris and Michael Hafner, and the idea to give 6 colonies of more than 360,000 bees a new home under the trees that grow next to our Lodge.
A bee-friendly environment
At an altitude of 1,250 metres, beekeeping is a challenge in its own league – even for experienced beekeepers like Michael and Doris. Ever since the first swarming checks, however, they felt reassured: just like our guests, the bees too enjoyed the fresh summer days and the welcoming environment of our mountain plateau. Besides, they have everything they need here, and plenty of it: a wide variety of delicious Alpine flowers, fresh spring water and thick forests are all a short buzz away. Vast expanses, and neither monocultures nor pesticides in sight. These are the best conditions for happy bees and delicious honey!
At the end of July, the combs are bursting with honey and covered in a thin layer of wax – the time for extraction has come. As per good practice, our beekeepers only harvest the excess honey dripping from the combs, leaving the bulk of it for the busy bees to use as a reserve in times of need.
Speaking of which… have you ever wondered what bees do during winter? They gather at the centre of the hive and keep each other warm. Their ability to produce heat by fluttering their wings allows them to survive even when temperatures drop below freezing. But with the first warm spring days, the queen starts to produce eggs in impressive numbers, and it’s just a few weeks before the next generation of little workers is ready for the new honey season.
ADLER honey – South Tyrol in a pot
Our natural honey is produced with cold extraction techniques, and is therefore rich in active ingredients. Its taste carries the gentle notes of mixed essences from Alpine meadows, linden flowers and the malty-spicy aromas of woodland honeydew. Spread it on a slice of wholemeal bread – it’s delicious. You can also use it to sweeten your tea, coffee or yogurt, and it makes a great accompaniment for cheese, grilled meats and desserts.
Bring home sweet memories
Take part in a HONEY TASTING with our beekeepers! You will be able to try our ADLER honey as well as other delectable varieties produced at different altitudes in South Tyrol, and rare honey specialities with truffle, raspberry, mead and more. Prepare to “bee” amazed!
Honey, a proven home remedy
Honey has always been used in home remedies. This natural product contains substances, such as vitamins, enzymes, trace elements and minerals, which help to strengthen the immune system and to promote healing processes. Especially in the case of colds, coughs and sore throats, a spoonful of honey dissolved in tea or milk really works wonders. Our tip: boil the milk or tea first and then add the honey in order to preserve its health-promoting ingredients.
Hotel Manager of the ADLER Lodge Ritten