Swarms of Bees arrive at Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel
Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel have welcomed a swarm of bees and new beehives have been constructed in the hotel grounds. We spoke to our general manager, Ruslana, to find out exactly why she wanted to introduce bees to the hotel and what she’d like to achieve by having them with us.
- Why you have decided to get beehives installed in the grounds?
I am from Ukraine and my parents have 20 acres of land. My father has a few hives as they are an essential tool for growing fruits and vegetables. When I worked in Hertfordshire, I got in touch with the British Beekeepers Association, a national beekeeping charity for 25,000 hobbyist beekeepers, raising standards through training and education. Working with this charity, I arranged to have 4 beehives installed.
On my first day of working at Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel, I walked around and spotted an empty green space at the back of the hotel. I thought it could be put to better use. I always have the question “how can I make a difference?” in my mind and on my first day I decided – we need bees! And now we have them! Matt Green, our maintenance man was tasked to research the local bee keepers societies and get them here to work with us.
- What you want to achieve by having the bees?
Bees are essential to a healthy environment and a healthy economy. Not many people realise, but we rely on them and other insects to pollinate most of our fruit and vegetables. But bees are under threat and without them so is our food and economy. It’s tempting to think bees just provide us with honey – but in fact they’re behind much of the food we eat, including fruit jam and butternut squash, often used in soup.
- Do you have any long term or future goals?
Bees pollinate plants in gardens, parks and the wider countryside – the local community would appreciate the healthy environment we are creating.
The long term plan is to involve local schools, welcoming children to plant flowers rich in nectar, to help bees find the food they need. This will also help us to create beautiful flower beds around the hotel. Choosing local honey will support our honey bees and their beekeepers – the plans are to educate our guests and let them try our new items on the menu such as ‘breakfast honey smoothie’ and ‘french toast with honey’.
Further ahead, we would like to look at introducing a honey-themed afternoon tea with honey & lemon tea, honey scones, cakes and seasonal honey cocktails. We would also like to introduce new experiences, including a special ‘beekeeper for a day’ package and offer guests a local bees tour and honey tasting.
Our Charity Partner
Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel Supports Rays of Sunshine
Mercure Sheffield Parkway Hotel are delighted to announce their new charity partner this year is Rays of Sunshine, www.raysofsunshine.org.uk, a UK registered children’s charity that brightens the lives of seriously ill children aged 3 to 18 by granting their wishes, granting hospital ward wishes and organising large scale events.
Our aim is to raise £2000 in the first year of the partnership to fund magical wishes for brave and deserving children and to do that WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Every day of the year Rays of Sunshine gives brave and deserving young people the chance to put their illness on hold and enjoy a moment of escape. Over 6,000 individual wishes have been granted since the charity was set up in 2003. Wishes can be as unique as the children themselves and whether a child wants to be a princess or a fireman for the day, go to Disneyland in Paris, visit Santa in Lapland, own an iPad, meet a favourite celebrity or even a ‘real life’ mermaid, Rays of Sunshine works hard to make that wish come true.
Rays of Sunshine also grants ward wishes, which offer a distraction to hundreds of children during their time in hospital or a hospice. Events and outings are held throughout the year for large groups of seriously ill children including trips to theme parks, hospital activity/pamper days and parties.
We hope you will all GET INVOLVED and support our partnership so we can reach our £2000 target and grant magical wishes for brave and deserving children. Please ask at reception about how you can support our partnership, make a donation and view our fundraising progress. So far we have sold tombola and raffle tickets, held a Grand National sweepstake, sold football cards and our kitchen porter, Marc, ran the Sheffield half marathon. We have a few events we are currently working on, including a bake sale, fire walk and ‘beat the chief’.
In September, four team members took part in a bungee jump at Magna indoor science centre. This bungee jump is claimed to be the UK’s scariest adrenaline experience and the WORLD’s highest indoor Bungee Jump! Congratulations to our team for raising £575 and for having the nerve to do this!!