With many of us spending more time than ever in our gardens, we thought now might be a good time to share a new weekend project with you, creating your own bug hotel in the garden, fun for all the family and educational too.
NB. All the images in this post are entries from our Make Us Smile Competition - our products in your worlds. Don't they look great!
Building a bug hotel is a great way to help children learn and engage with the natural world, and to be honest the same can be said for adults too. Depending on your design, you could find residents include anything from toads to hedgehogs to solitary bees.
Building your Bug Hotel (or palace!)
What you'll need.
A Wooden outer structure. (untreated wood with protection from the winter rain and a sturdy back (or put against a wall or solid fence)
Logs or wooden blocks (ensure logs are not split as this can attract pests and mould.)
Bundles of dead plant stems (brambles, thorns etc), pine cones, twigs, plant stems.
Start by preparing your outer box. Are you going multi-storey mansion house or a more conservative bungalow development?!
Take your logs/wooden blocks and drill multiple holes in each with varying diameters ranging from 2-10mm to attract various species of bees. Use your sandpaper to smooth all surfaces to avoid damage to wings.
Make sure that the logs fit neatly inside the frame so that they are not stuck out and exposed to the elements, and that they are secure and stable.
Fill any gaps around the blocks with your other materials, you can always divide it into sections to create different kinds of habitats/room options!
Finally place your bug hotel in a dry, warm and sheltered area with plenty of sun and no danger of vegetation growing and blocking the front.
Time for a cup of tea and a sit down to look at the finest new development in town, and they said construction work was on lockdown!
The even more fun bit is checking in regularly to see who's moved in, you might find all sorts of different types of minibeast; woodlice, ladybirds, and solitary bees, spiders and even frogs or hedgehogs!