Busy bees in Colombia get respite in bamboo hotels

(Reuters) - Solitary bees are enjoying new digs in Barbosa, Colombia, where tiny hotels built by the Aburra Valley Metropolitan Authority provide places to rest and recover after a busy day pollinating.

Lovingly built from wood, with acrylic roofs to protect them from rain, the hexagonal structures are filled with a variety of bamboo canes that allow bees of all shapes and sizes to check in for a well-deserved rest.

"It’s like a hotel because here they’re going to have a quiet moment in their room ... before setting off again," said Hector Ivan Valencia, an assistant for the local authority’s risk management unit.

During the day, assistants like Valencia delicately clean the bamboo rooms using tools such as paint brushes.

"If this were a regular hotel, I’d be one of the people cleaning the rooms," Valencia said.

Colombia, the world’s second-most biodiverse country, has registered 550 varieties of bees within its borders according to the environment ministry, although the true number of species could be as high as 1,445.