Insect hotels

Home for insects at the Dorothy Clive Garden

I signed up for 30 Days Wild and I’m sharing my pictures of insect hotels (also called bug condos) as a Random Act of Wildness. These imaginative homes for insects are a practical way to help the environment and bring grownups and kids closer to nature.

Insect hotel (detail)

An insect hotel is packed with materials that create holes of different sizes, offering shelter for a wide range of creatures. Talk about consumer choice! ‘Would you prefer a roomy kingsize or snug single, Mr Solitary Bee? You’ll find a buffet breakfast in the meadow on the ground floor.’

Triangular bug condo

On a more serious note, our gardens at home are often kept far too neatly mown and tidy for the comfort of beneficial insects, and their populations are under pressure. Many English gardens are showing us a way to help by including bug hotels in a sheltered corner. I found the one above in the Dorothy Clive garden and the one below in the kitchen garden at Hidcote. You’ll notice they have some form of roof to help keep the insect hotel dry and cool.

Insect hotel at Hidcote

Materials used to create the insect compartments can include dead wood, bark, hollow stems and stick bundles; bricks, stones and tiles; dry leaves and vegetation; cardboard tubes, dried cones and terracotta pots. In other words, pretty much anything goes! Larger gaps provide homes for toads. Ideally hotels are situated near plants rich with nectar to provide plenty of food.

If you’d like to be involved, head to the Wildlife Trust’s website, follow @30DaysWild on Twitter or just leap in with your own Random Act of Wildness!

Bee

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