The loss of habitation due to the use of pesticides, expansion of urban areas and climate changes are seeing insects decline in number by at least 2.5% per year, which mean they could be extinct within 100 years. Any small change we make to help these vital creatures will make a big difference.
There can be up to 2000 difference species of bugs and insects in your garden at any one time and a huge number of bees are solitary so do not live in hives. Bug hotels are a great way of giving these mini-beasts the habits they need for shelter and breeding.
Bug Hotels can be an attractive feature in your garden and fun to make. It is also a great way to find out what else you share your garden with.
Start by choosing a container to recycle that would be suitable to build your bug hotel in a deep photo frame, broken plant pot, biscuit tin, plastic bottle, wooden pallets all make a good start for your bug hotel.
Photo frames are great for hanging up in a high sunny place for bees and pallets are great for a low level home, which can be dark and damp for all those mini-beasts who thrive in a moist, humid spaces,
Gather natural materials such as logs and twigs, rotting wood, dry leaves, bark, hollow plant stems, pebbles and bamboo canes.
Recycled material like loo roll tubes and egg cartons also work well.
You can also drill different sized holes into blocks of wood.
There is no set way to filling up your bug houses. You can make 'rooms' by having different sections of different materials.
Some beetles love dead wood for boring into, bark attracts centipedes, slaters and spiders, cardboard can bring lacewings to stay and ladybirds and butterflies also like to hibernate in hollow tubes.
Location is key to the success of your bug hotel.
Bees like to be high up to lay their eggs so sighting your hotel at least 1.5m off the ground and somewhere that gets the sun is ideal.
Ladybirds, lacewings and other invertebrates like to hide and hibernate so somewhere dark and sheltered is a good place for their home.
Your bug hotel should only last a couple of years so to make yours the most attractive place for bugs to live for a long as possible keep you hotel clean and replace any material that has been eaten and is disintegrating regularly.
For further guides and inspiration visit these sites: