Something new is buzzing at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose. In an effort to preserve the population of wild mason bees, the hotel has partnered with Pollinator Partnership to construct a miniature bee hotel.

Nine years ago the U.S. Senate voted to have an official week in June dedicated to addressing the issue of declining bee populations. This year, the 10th celebration of National Pollinator Week will be held June 20-26.

The loss of habitat for these small but mighty creatures affects the human population in numerous ways. Bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of all the food produced in the United States, totaling around $10 billion worth of crops each year. Bees rarely pose a threat to humans but are often exterminated or poisoned with pesticides. This, along with an extreme loss of bee habitats, has led to dangerously low populations.

The Fairmont created miniature bee hotels to bring attention to the issue. The mini hotel is an exact replica of the main hotel at an approximately 50:1 ratio, and it stands on the roof of the south tower. The bee home joins 10 other Fairmont Hotels with newly installed bee attractions throughout the United States.

Executive Chef Anthony Hsia has also created a special menu titled “Wild for Bees Pollinator” incorporating menu items that rely on the pollination of bees. “As a chef, for me it is extremely important that we find ways to protect our local pollinators and give them a place to rest,” he said.

More information on the Pollinator Partnership can be found here.