Back in the 1990s, people in Western Europe came up with the clever idea of building a comfortable and cozy insect hotel for the beneficial insects in the garden. This particular idea quickly made its way from Germany and the Netherlands to the Nordic countries and became a popular method for preserving the biological diversity of the world and avoiding a serious ecological crisis. As a result of the uncontrolled use of pesticides and the destruction of the natural habitats of the flying insects, their population dropped drastically at the end of the 20th century – this endangers the survival of numerous animal and plant species and could have long-term harmful effects on nature and the landscape. That is why the protection of insects is becoming more and more important nowadays – every household could contribute to their well-being and attract beneficial insects into the garden through a unique insect hotel.
The hut should, however, be well suited for the most common insect species in the corresponding terrain. The beneficial insects house should be adapted to their needs and fully meet their “high expectations”! In recent years, insect hotel building has become a favorite activity for children in Norway and a popular educational material on environmental protection. The little ones learn in an entertaining way the functions within an ecosystem and the primary role of insects in maintaining balance in nature.
The materials and tools required:
- small pine cones
- hollow logs (about 10-12 cm. long)
- Reeds or bamboo poles
- Bark mulch
- dried flower heads
- Metal hangers
- Cordless screwdriver
- Table saw or foxtail
- drilling machine
Spruce or cedar wood for the entire construction (length x width x thickness):
- Roof (14 cm. X 14 cm. X approx. 2 cm.)
- Bottom part (14 cm. X 14 cm. X approx. 2 cm.)
- Back wall (30.5 cm. X 14 cm. X approx. 2 cm.)
- 2 x side wall (30.5 cm. X 12 cm. X 2 cm.)
Building an insect hotel step by step:
- Use the table saw or the foxtail to cut the boards according to the dimensions given above.
- Assemble the whole construction by carefully drilling through the boards with the drill and then screwing them on using the cordless screwdriver.
- Fill the house with the pine cones, logs, bamboo poles, bark mulch and flower baskets by placing them in rows on top of each other, but at the same time leaving enough space between the individual filling materials so that the insects can fly in and “move in”.
- Nail or screw on the hanger and finally hang the insect hotel on a previously selected location in the garden, e.g. on the garden fence.
The insects are always welcome in the hotel
What insects check happy to go to the hotel?
Most of the Wild bees have their nest in the ground, so these beneficial insects do not need a “hotel room”. If you dig up the ground at the beginning of spring, you will most likely come across the bumblebees’ wintering place! Honey bees survive the winter by cuddling with power and shivering warm, so they don’t even leave their hive for months. The lonely bees, However, those who do not live in colonies prefer to build their nests in hollow logs during the cold months. These insects will move into the hotel with other lonely bees, seal the opening of the wood with mud and stay in this cozy atmosphere for months. The beneficial insects will then thank you warmly for the accommodation in spring by fertilizing the plants in your garden by transferring pollen and pollen!
Marian pine overwinter in groups between different dried plants and branches. On warm spring days, these insects will help you fight aphids and really do an excellent job against the uninvited guests!
Beetles, spiders, lacewings and other beneficial insects need different living conditions depending on their living needs. Due to the varied filling material, however, your insect hotel attracts numerous useful insects. By securing them a unique “apartment”, you will gain enviable fighters against the pests by your side. In this way, nature and people benefit from each other! Perhaps a few harmful insects will move into the newly built hotel, but don’t worry and leave everything in the hands of Mother Nature, because only she herself can ensure the ecological balance in the environment!
In order to attract as many insects as possible to the hotel, you can use different strategies. In any case, you should choose a quiet and sunny location in the garden for the “guest house”, which is also well protected from wind, rain, rodents and birds. There should be different flowering plants in the vicinity. A bowl of sweetened water could serve as another attractant. You should keep an eye on hygiene and change the dried grass, moss, straw and twigs at least once a year.
In the attached video you will find further detailed building instructions for a somewhat larger beneficial insect house that could accommodate several insect species at the same time!
If you paint the insect hotel in any bright color, you will lure even more useful insects into your courtyard
Countless insects find shelter in this luxurious one hotel
The shape doesn’t matter – the filler material is the most important thing
Hang the insect hotel on the tree and attract its residents
If the insect hotel is stable enough, you can place it directly on the ground near flowering plants
In our gallery you will find a few more clever ideas for the unique design of your insect hotel!
Everything at a glance – from small beneficial insect houses to very large insect hotels!