The latest CSR programme from ONYX Hospitality Group focuses on the conservation of natural biodiversity in a bid to save the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) from extinction.
The launch of Plan BEE focusses on two ONYX properties in Bangkok. Luxury serviced residence, Oriental Residence Bangkok will become the first serviced residence or hotel with an urban beekeeping initiative in Bangkok, in line with its CSR theme of managing biodiversity. Along with Shama’s CSR theme, stimulating entrepreneurship and alleviating poverty, Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok is also planning to introduce a programme to educate the farming community on the benefits of Asian honeybee husbandry.
Honeybees are key pollinators in the environment today. It is estimated that one-third of all the food plants we eat depend specifically on bees for pollination. In spite of the important role bees play in the global food chain and ecosystem, honeybees, as with many pollinators around the world, have come under threat due to a number of factors, including the use of pesticides and planting of genetically-engineered crops, loss of habitat and biodiversity, increases in various pests and diseases due to changing weather conditions, pollution and poor husbandry techniques.
URBAN Beekeeping at Oriental Residence Bangkok
Alongside the Saffron brand, with its CSR focus on biodiversity, Oriental Residence Bangkok will be the first serviced residence to undertake an urban beekeeping initiative in Bangkok. The threats faced by the Asian honeybee are so extreme, that some of the last remaining sanctuaries for this delicate creature are city centres.
The urban beekeeping project at Oriental Residence Bangkok will be the initial step made by ONYX to introduce urban beekeeping to Thailand and beyond. ONYX has partnered with Raitong Organics Farm to ensure the successful delivery of this programme. Apiculturists (bee experts) will visit the property to harvest the honey and educate the team members on the skills and techniques of nurturing the Asian honeybee using bee-friendly modified Warré-type hives. This ritual will be part of an educational exercise for team members, guests, urban residents and nearby schools to learn about the importance of nurturing a healthy urban environment for greater biodiversity.
RURAL Beekeeping by Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok
As part of the Shama CSR focus to stimulate entrepreneurship for poverty alleviation, Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok is looking to partner with Raitong Organics Farm to introduce a rural beekeeping initiative. Through this scheme, Shama will provide the farming community with the resources to maintain healthy Asian honeybee populations and also encourage them to earn a supplementary income. Shama and Raitong Organics Farm will provide professional training and educating on basic Asian honeybee biology and also the important ecological role bees play in the environment.
Commentingon Plan BEE, Lisa Thomas, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, ONYX Hospitality Group, said;
“ONYX Hospitality Group has introduced a number of initiatives across its four brands, each of which in their own way aims to help create a sustainable future. ONYX aligns its values and business practices with a sense of connection to the environment and giving back to local communities. Plan BEE is an initial step to introduce urban beekeeping to Thailand and beyond. We believe we can help by creating a safe urban sanctuary for the honeybees driven out of rural areas by pesticides. Honey generated from these bees will be used at Oriental Residence Bangkok as an ingredient in the dishes served in Café Claire and Mandopop, and we will develop our bee story even further, by educating our guests, colleagues and urban residents on the importance of bee conservation.”