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House bees sweeten your stay

In 2015, a concrete idea emerged from the desire of the “Schweizerhof” to do something good for the environment and prevent bees from dying out: Three beehives were set up on the roof of the hotel in Bern. Since then, the 150,000 or so winged female employees have been tirelessly swarming over the federal city to collect their nectar in the gardens and avenues. Maple, horse chestnut, acacia and lime – the aroma of their honey is as diverse as its surroundings.

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Twice a year Jo Roth comes by to harvest the hives. The beekeeper processes the honeycombs on his own and delivers a good 160 kilograms of ready-to-eat honey to the hotel. This is reserved for guests at the “Schweizerhof”, but there is virtually no way around the sweet elixir for them: It is given as a gift to guests, assists the relaxing effect of the fascia massage in the in-house spa and can be found at the breakfast table as fine sweetness in tea or a creamy spread on a slice of buttered sourdough bread.

As old as the buzzing of bees

Bees have been flying over this world’s soils for many millions of years in search of flower nectar. The age of some amber finds containing bees has been dated to over 50 million years. We humans have been aware of the pleasure and benefits that honey brings us, since comparatively recently. The murals in the “Cuevas de la Araña” in the Province of Valencia in eastern Spain, showing the first surviving honey hunter “harvesting” a bees’ nest, is estimated to be eight thousand years old.

Holistic approach makes an impact

From the Mayas in South America to the Nordic Germanic tribes, honey played an important role from then on. The Germanic tribes used it to mix mead, a potion of the gods, while the Mayans used it primarily as a remedy and in ritual acts. It is just as hard to imagine our lives without the golden multi-talent as its industrious makers. They not only fertilize flowers and trees in their daily work, but also give honey its healing properties. Scientists assume that the antimicrobial effect of honey is due to the bees’ enzymes. The hotel masseuse at the “Schweizerhof”, Brigitte Bernold, emphasizes the positive effect of honey on tense tissue. Its sticky consistency supports the effect of fascia massage – which can be a little painful, but reliably helps against tight shoulders and a stiff back. The honey and the path taken by the “Schweizerhof” are not only well received by tense guests: In 2019, myclimate awarded the hotel as a pioneer for holistic sustainability in the hotel business.

A taste of honey

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How honey is made

Since 2015, the roof of the “Schweizerhof” has been home to three colonies of bees, who forage for nectar in Bern’s gardens.

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The honey-fascia massage

The honey is warmed up shortly before it is applied.

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A signature treatment

The viscous movements loosen up the fasciae.

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