Mindful Monday

Mindful Monday #14. How to Build a Bug Hotel!

Wow! It has been a very busy couple of months for HOWL, but we are back and are sharing our very first video to kick-start our Mindful Mondays again. Are you ready?!

This week we want you to get outside and get creative in working towards our goal of giving nature a helping hand. How? Build a Bug Hotel!

These are a great way replicating natural features sought by wildlife in your garden and provides excellent refuge. You can make your hotel as small or as big as you like, the important part is to test your creativity! You get to be the architect, builder and interior designer. The following is just a rough guide on how we constructed ours and will hopefully give you some ideas on how to get started.

1. Find a good spot! – A good starting point is to find a patch that is exposed to the sun and shade to meet the needs of different critters in your garden. We found a nice bare patch between some bushes and trees, making an ideal foundation. A firm and even ground is important in supporting your hotel.

2. Collect your materials! – This is the time to start getting creative. The best part of this step is that is does not need to cost you a penny! By utilising websites, such a freecycle, gum tree and local Facebook groups, we were able to get our paws on a variety of materials!

  • Wooden Pallets – These are fantastic if you are wanting to create a large hotel and once stacked, it gives you lots of nooks and crannies to start filling with other materials. A local business was offloading these into a skip, but with a quick chat they were more than happy for us to take them off their hands.
  • Bamboo canes – We were lucky to find some of these in our shed and cut them down so that they could be stacked into the gaps of the stacked pallets. These are great for creating good nest sites for solitary bees. Holes of different diameters cater for different species.
  • Straw/ Hay/ Leaves – This provides many opportunities for invertebrates to burrow in and find safe hibernation sites. Dry leaves also mimic the litter on the forest floor.
  • Loose bark – Beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice all lurk beneath the decaying wood and bark.
  • Dead wood – Dead wood is essential for the larvae of wood-boring beetles, such as the stag beetle. It also supports many fungi, which help break down the woody material. Crevices under the bark hold centipedes and woodlice.
  • Bricks with holes – Great for providing a safe place for critters.
  1. Start stacking! – Place your first pallet down. A handy trick is to place old bricks in between each layer to help keep the structure sturdy. You can also place your bottom pallet upside down , which can allow you to create a mini hedgehog house!
  2. Get creative! – Start filling in the gaps of the stacked pallets with your chosen materials. To add a little authenticity we even made a little bric-a-brac section using old mugs, tins and bottles.
  3. Get snapping! HOWL would love to see what you have created so that we can share it on our site and across social media, so don’t forget to tell us and let us know who has been checking in!

So what are you waiting for?! Get building!

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