What’s BEEhind BEEGrrl?
A BEEGrrl emerges from the corporate hive:
In June of 2008, Melanie Coates and Chef David Garcelon were two colleagues who shared an environmental hope and a dream for generating buzz from the rooftop of The Fairmont Royal York hotel, located in downtown Toronto, Canada. After much study and research it became a reality when the former Regional Director of Public Relations turned beekeeper (BEEGrrl) and the former Executive Chef turned urban agriculturist joined forces with The Toronto Beekeepers Co-op and FoodShare. Together they were the first in the world to install an apiary on a city centre hotel roof. It was also Fairmont Hotel & Resort’s first hotel to embark on an apiary project. There are now a total of 20 Fairmont apiaries: seven rooftop apiaries and 13 neighbouring apiaries associated with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ properties around the world.
With five years of harvests behind them and over 2,700 pounds of honey harvested for the hotel, Coates and Garcelon have both progressed in their professional careers. They may have altered their flight paths away from their Toronto executive hotel positions, but they remain focused on beecology. Chef Garcelon has brought rooftop bees to Park Avenue from his new role as Director of Culinary at New York’s Waldorf Astoria and Coates continues to generate buzz internationally.
Melanie is a long-standing member of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-op, a new member of the Ontario Beekeepers Association, and continues as the head beekeeper at the Toronto luxury hotel, The Fairmont Royal York.