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PHOTOS, VIDEO: Local Bees Help Clean Up Walt Disney World Gingerbread Displays

If you have ever stopped to watch the information video at the gingerbread house in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, you may know that bees are important to the process of cleaning up the life-size sweet treats. Disney has now shared new photos, video, and information about the bees.

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“Ten years ago, when performing our annual gingerbread display cleaning, we noticed bees were very attracted to the sugar on the displays after deconstruction,” Barry Stockwell, Planned Work Specialist with Event Decorating Support, said. “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.”

Bee populations have been declining, so Walt Disney World made it a mission to provide these important creates with resources, including pollinator-friendly gardens.

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After the holiday season has ended each year, the Walt Disney World Event Decorating Support team and Pastry Chefs remove the gingerbread from the wooden frame structures used for each display. The gingerbread is recycled for composting, but the structures are still covered in sugary royal icing. The structures are then broken down and transported to the Walt Disney World Resort tree farm.

Thousands of local bees then get to visit the farm and clean the sugar off the wooden frames. This keeps them well-fed during the winter when food is harder to come by.

“Honey bees can typically travel up to about two miles to search for nectar and pollen, and in this case sugar,” Zak Gezon, Conservation Manager for Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment said.

The well-fed bees then return to local farms, where they produce honey that farmers harvest and sell. They even contribute to honey blends that may be sold to large companies to use in creating gingerbread.

After the bees have left Walt Disney World, the wooden frames are power washed with hot water and stored to be reused the next year.

Watch a TikTok about the process below or by clicking here.

Learn more about the importance of pollinators in our environment by clicking here.

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