Bee populations are declining around the world, but Walt Disney World has found a sweet way to help.
Every year, Disney World’s pastry chefs create an elaborate gingerbread display for visitors to feast their eyes on, but it serves another purpose as well.
After the holidays the sweet treats are recycled into bee food.
Disney Parks shared on Instagram that the gingerbread display is broken down and brought to their tree farm where it is used to feed bees.
“There, local Florida bees get to feast on sweets until every bit is gone,” they said. “This helps the declining bee population by keeping them well fed during the winter months, when food sources are harder to find.”
Once the bees have had their fill, the wooden structures used to build the gingerbread houses are cleaned off and stored to be used for the next holiday season.
The gingerbread is used for composting, so nothing goes to waste.
While the secret was just revealed on social media, the annual tradition of recycling holiday treats into bee food has been occurring for the past decade.
“Ten years ago, when performing our annual gingerbread display cleaning, we noticed bees were very attracted to the sugar on the displays after deconstruction,” said Barry Stockwell, Planned Work Specialist with Event Decorating Support. “We decided to bring the display pieces to our Disney tree farm and lay them out in our field to give the bees a chance to collect the sugar on the wooden structures.”
Fans were thrilled to learn that the beautiful culinary display was recycled and not just thrown away.
One person wrote, “I always thought these were beautiful but so wasteful, I feel much better about it now!”
Bees and other vital pollinators are disappearing due in part to habitat loss. Disney helps feed bees all year with their pollinator-friendly gardens around the property.
You can help by planting milkweed and other bee-friendly plants in your garden and by donating here to feed bees around the country.