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100,000 Bees Help Grow Fresh Ingredients Atop Philly Hotel

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Hotel Sofitel Philadelphia is celebrating Earth Day in a fun way, and it involves 100,000 honey-bees!

The hotel, located at 17th and Sansom streets in Center City, unveiled its new seasonal rooftop garden and apiary Tuesday morning on "Good Day Philadelphia."

And everything that's grown in the garden is actually going to be used in the hotel's restaurant, FOX 29's Jenni Joyce reported from the rooftop.

Justin Perdue, the Sofitel's executive chef, said, "Nowadays, everybody is looking towards organic, and there's a lot of pesticides in their products. So, we're taking the next step and growing them here. We know what we're putting into our products. We're not going to put any pesticides or fertilizers so that everything will be organic."

What's growing in the garden? Basil, dill, cilantro, tomatoes, rosemary, lavender, pettypan squash, baby zucchini and little flowers, Perdue said.

Don Shump, of the Philadelphia Bee Company, called the initiative a great opportunity to get some more local honey in Philadelphia."

Shump added, "Having the bees up here will is going to help produce more produce. You can see higher crop yields from the garden up here, and the honey in downtown you get is amazing. … Philadelphia has 200 years of botanical awesomeness going on. We have flowers being brought in from all over the world. And, you know, a lot of areas that are normally considered blight our bees can actually use as forage. It makes very complex honeys."

The garden area is not open to the public, but some of the ingredients were used in sample dishes the Sofitel put on display for us.

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