Bee Hotel aims to protect local bee population

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Creators of a unique, local project are hoping to catch your attention.

It’s a hotel for local bees designed to raise awareness about the vital role bees play while also protecting them.

The honey bee contributes to a third of the country’s food supply but the population is declining.

In an effort to save bee populations locally, the Native Bee Hotel at the Open Space Visitor Center is aimed at protecting pollinator habitats.

New Mexico is home to hundreds of species of wild bees. These species not only pollinate plants, but also fruits and vegetables from local farms and backyard gardens.

That’s where this “insect hotel” comes in to provide safe lodging for pollinators especially during the harsh winter months when populations may die.

“Pollinators are critical for all habitats and not just humans. They’re just the key cornerstone of habitats throughout the world,” said Kent Swanson, Open Space Visitor Center Manager.

It’s all part of a project with 516 Arts called “Cross Pollination,” an exhibition and series of events around the city focusing on bees and pollinators and their role in the world’s food supply.

Artists Sheri Crider and Valerie Roybal, along with other volunteers, built the bee hotel which will be a permanent fixture at the Open Space Visitor Center.

“I think it’s a microcosm of what we need to do our part to make our city exciting for not only people in the community but animals that travel here,” Sheri Crider said.

Just last year, Albuquerque was designated as a Bee City USA.

Through that, Open Space has been involved in educating the public about the importance of bees through programs like this one.

The hotel has been set up for a couple of weeks now. Officials will be observing it and tracking the number and variety of species that call the hotel home.

For more information on the “Cross Pollination” exhibition, click here.

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