Mobile, AL (WKRG)

How about this for a sweet way to end the year? The Admiral Hotel continues urban beekeeping on the roof. Before it can be drizzled on cookies, Chef Samuel Spencer has to crack open a stack of beehives.

“I mean as long as you’re not allergic to them you’re pretty much okay,” said Chef Samuel Spencer with a laugh. While appearances might be deceiving there are more than 100,000 little bees in each stack.

“So we have a total of four beehives, a total of 350,000 bees, and we use most of it in our recipes in our restaurants,” said Spencer. These stacks of beehives are part of a growing trend of urban beekeeping. This is on the third-floor roof–away from guests or anyone walking on the street. It’s a trend seen elsewhere, whether it’s in other larger city or around downtown Mobile.

“They have about a five-mile radius so they leave our roof they’re pollinating anything and everything downtown plus our garden up here,” said Food and Beverage Director Lee Bryan. The garden and the hives are a small way the staff here is trying to stand out from the pack of hotel options. Right now we’re in the offseason for bees.

“Usually when it’s cold or raining they just primarily stay inside the hive so the weather doesn’t usually affect it, we have two times we can pull off of it, June and October,” said Chef Spencer.

The honey is used in recipes and also sold in the hotel. The bees are generally docile unless you get close to the hive. The chef says they generally try to confuse the bees with smoke when trying to get the honey out.