Image Source: Screen capture from BritishLand.com.

I have traveled a lot throughout my life. I’ve been camping, crashed on friends’ couches, and have stayed at an ungodly amount of hotels. Very rarely have the accommodations ever reached 5-star status (as they are typically out of my price range). It almost makes me wish I was a London insect—they’re getting a choice of 5-star accommodations for free.

Yes, it certainly sounds strange and bizarre, but check this out. To continue the celebration of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, British Land and The City of London Corporation have teamed up to create the Beyond the Hive competition. Between the 7th and 19th of June, 5 insect hotels are to be constructed at the following places: Bunhill Fields, West Smithfield, Postman’s Park, St. Dunstan’s in the East, and Cleary Garden.

These hotels are designed to provide top housing for (and also attract) a variety of bugs or insects, including: butterflies, lacewings, ladybirds (or ladybugs), solitary bees, stag beetles, and spiders. The designs are expected to be both ecologically sustainable and creative. You can check out a list of the 5 finalists here.

Once the 5-star insect hotels finish construction, people can visit them at their designated parks and vote for their favorite design between June 19th and 28th. Two Golden Beetle awards will be presented during the London Festival of Architecture—one to the winner of an online public vote and the other to a winner chosen by an expert judging panel.

To find out more about the competition, designs, and voting, check out this site!

By Heidi Marshall