A Safe Haven for honey bees.
Arabella is situated in the Cape Floral Kingdom, and in the heart of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve in the Western Cape.
What is amazing about this area is its fynbos, which is the main vegetation type of the Cape Floral Kingdom – one of only six floral kingdoms in the world, the smallest and richest of the kingdoms, with around three quarters of fynbos species endemic to the area – in other words, they grow nowhere else in the world.
The Cape Floral Kingdom has been identified by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee as a biodiversity “hot-spot”.
It is against this backdrop that The African Pride Arabella Hotel & Spa have committed 70 hectares of land to home honey bees, surrounded with rich forage (Arabella is home to more than 1600 species of fynbos), on land free of toxins. Under the watchful eye of our local keeper of bees, Danie Voster, this haven forms part of the Arabella’s Mark of Craft – The Art in Fynbos initiative which creates an experience of gorgeous fynbos honey for guests to enjoy, while supporting the environmental needs of the region in fynbos preservation and the needs of honey bees for space to be.
Fynbos grows in nutrient-poor soil, so creating entire ecosystems where many other vegetation types would not survive – providing life for many animal, bird and butterfly species. Our honey bees will share space with exquisite birds like the Cape sugarbird which is endemic to fynbos regions, and many types of threatened butterfly species.
Did you know that fynbos derives its name from a Dutch phrase which translates as ‘fine bush’, referring to the thin, narrow leaves seen on many fynbos plants (an adaptation to reduce water loss)? Three plant families give the fynbos its distinctive character – protea; erica (the heathers); and restio (Cape reeds) – but familiar families such as daisy, pea, orchid, iris and citrus are well-represented and provide super pollen and nectar that honey bees need to remain strong and healthy.