Carson City’s first “bee hotel” already was abuzz with business before the public even had its first look at it during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning behind the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center at 1535 Medical Parkway.
Carson City was named the first Bee City in Nevada last year and local businesses came together through the efforts of the Leadership Class and the Carson City Chamber of Commerce to realize the vision. The Greenhouse Project has assisted with pollination to keep the bees in the new hotel, of which 17 were actively remaining as of Thursday.
Meek’s Lumber and Hardware contributed to the project, and Southwest Gas provided the design, construction and transportation of the structure to the site. Arizona Pipeline Co. completed preparation including grading, drainage and cutting and pouring the concrete pad. Southwest Gas employees installed and anchored the hotel in the ground.
Other businesses and individuals contributed more than $7,000 in support of the project, including Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell and Carson Tahoe Healthcare. Funds were used to purchase the bee hexagons and the signage placed in front of the habitat about the importance of pollination to environmental sustainability. About $40,000 has been provided in in-kind donations.
The Carson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute Class of 2019 chose to construct a pollinator bee habitat as its class project to coincide with Carson City being awarded the 76th Bee City USA designation by the Xerces Society, the first such designation in Nevada. The application to become a Bee City USA was submitted by the Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada and Carson City Park, Recreation and Open Space with the pledge to provide healthy habitats for pollinators and to teach the community the importance of sustaining pollinators.
Crowell, offering a few words at the ribbon-cutting, said the city’s participation as a Bee City helps keep the importance of bees and pollinators at the forefront in a positive way.
“That’s what makes a community, folks, I mean, people out every day, proud to not just make their own community better but to make world a better place, to make it a better place for humanity to live,” he said.
Nearly one-third of each mouthful of food consumed by humans, he cited, is produced by pollinators, and the bee population is shrinking.
“So if we lose that or that starts to decline, a lot of us are going to be hungry and we’re not going be on the ‘bee team,’ and we all want to be on the ‘bee team,’ ” Crowell said.