The Walt Disney company regularly feeds enormous gingerbread houses to swarms of bees, and I am fascinated by this. The company’s theme-park-focused TikTok account posted a video yeseterday explaining what the team does with the giant gingerbread houses that decorate the parks throughout December, once the holidays are over. People explains that Disney has been feeding gingerbread houses to bees for about a decade.
During the holiday season, Disney parks create elaborate life-sized gingerbread house displays. As eye-catching as these desserts can be, some people might wonder (myself included) who is eating all this cookie construction material once it’s torn down? It would be insanely wasteful to just throw it all out, not to mention the hours of work it takes to put it all together. Well, this TikTok post answers those concerns in a matter of seconds.
“After we break down every piece of cookie, candy, and cute chocolate character, each gingerbread display is dismantled and brought to our tree farm,” the narrator in the TikTok explains. “There, local Florida bees get to feast on sweets until every bit is gone.” The voiceover is coming from a sous chef at one of Disney’s parks, Chef Rihanna, who adds that this practice aids the bee population by keeping them well-fed for the winter months when food sources are scarce. The wood structures beneath the gingerbread leftovers are then cleaned and reused for the gingerbread houses the following holiday season.
What’s also interesting is the fact that Disney has a whole tree farm of its own, where it grows the vegetation that shows up at the parks. A 2013 Disney Parks blog shows aerial shots of the farm over the years. It looks massive, and as someone who has never gone to Disney World, I’m curious to see how the plants are put to creative use throughout the resort. (Hopefully they don’t attract bees.)
A Disney source told People that only Walt Disney World in Florida currently uses this method for recycling the gingerbread displays. Hopefully in the future all of the company’s parks will adopt a similar practice.