You know that scene in Portlandia where the insufferable couple keeps asking if everything on a restaurant's menu is local? Now, imagine how they might react knowing that the bees that supplied the honey for their tea were so close, they might risk being stung? According to Bret Thorn of trade magazine Nation's Restaurant News, that's the case at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, where the bees are colonized right on the hotel's roof, the better to ensure the localest of local-ness. Welcome to the next-next level of locavore supremacy.
Restaurants and bars touting local have been a food trend for a while now, with roof-to-table even replacing farm-to-table for those who want to cut out a few miles between themselves and their food sources. Brown Palace's "Bee Royalty Initiative" is a good example, if it didn't sound so much like a joke on the very notion of local eating: "This initiative was developed to honor the regal nature of bees and their tireless work in providing one of humanity's most prized sweeteners and healing elixirs," its website explains. "Every bee is a gift to our planet, so our Palace bees are treasured guests." Now, if they can only figure out a way to put the actual guests' tables right next to the bees.