A bug's life...how to build a bug hotel

A bug's life...how to build a bug hotel



On 20th May, the Transition Kids group will be making a bug hotel.. don't wait until then to build one...why not get bugged out in your own garden now!

Why do bugs need hotels?

In natural habitats there are endless nooks and crannies where mini-beasts,can shelter. Crevices in bark, holes in dead wood, piles of 
fallen leaves, gaps between rocks, hollow plant stems, spaces in dead logs. All these can provide a home for the myriad small creatures that need somewhere to 
nest, or to escape from predators, or bad weather. Gardeners often like to tidy away the debris where invertebrates might live and this limits the amount of natural cover. We can help provide more homes by creating bug hotels, which are often interesting and attractive creations in their own right.


What makes a good bug hotel? 

The best bug hotels have lots of small spaces in different shapes and sizes and made from different materials. Ideally some should be nice and dry inside, and others 
a bit dampish. Bug hotels are generally made from reclaimed materials, or natural objects, which reduces cost, helps them blend in with their surroundings and is 
probably more attractive to the mini-beast guests.


How do you make a bug hotel?

A simple bug hotel can be made from a collection of hollow stems packed into a plastic bottle with the end cut off. Several hotels could be placed in different positions around the garden. These are likely to attract different minibeasts to live in them. Grander bug hotels can be made by piling up a variety of materials into a tower, or 
making a wooden frame with a series of compartments and packing these with different fillings.


What might check in to your bug hotel? 

A surprisingly wide variety of invertebrates including nesting mason bees and leaf cutter bees, woodlice hiding from the sun - and woodlice spiders hunting woodlice, 
earwigs hiding their babies from predators, ladybirds and lacewings hibernating over winter, beetle larvae feeding on the dead wood, funnel web spiders spinning their 
traps and centipedes hunting down their prey.