Bug Hotel: How to Make a Home for Beneficial Insects

Bug Hotel: How to Make a Home for Beneficial Insects


[Music] Hello there. Beneficial insects are
essential in any garden. Whether they’re pollinating our crops or preying on pests, these insects make our job as gardeners an awful lot easier. By building a bug hotel like this you can encourage beneficials to check in and take up residence in your garden. In this video we’ll show you how easy it is to
make one. Bug hotels can be made from salvaged and natural materials such as prunings, sticks, straw, broken tiles, bricks, and old pieces of wood. The secret lies in providing a variety of habitats to attract a variety of insects. Bug hotels vary in size and complexity
according to the space and time you have available
to make one. The simplest hotels consisted of a dry, sheltered space into which bedding materials are stuffed. More complicated hotels may be made up of different materials stacked together to draw in the widest range of insect guests. Old pallets can be very useful in this instance. Decaying logs will attract wood-boring beetles and centipedes while bark is a must for woodlice and millipedes. Tempt in ground and rove beetles which eat slug eggs by packing in plenty of twigs and branches. Native or solitary bees and hoverflies love hollow stems such as bamboo canes while spiders will make their home in just about any dry nook or cranny. Ladybugs (ladybirds) devour aphids and hibernate in hollow stems and leaf litter. Here’s how to make a simple hanging bug hotel suitable for solitary bees, ladybugs and hoverflies. To make your hotel you will need 4
sections of wood about 15cm (6in) long, some thin shingles to serve as roof tiles,
some strong string, plus a plank of wood wide enough to form a backplate to your hotel. To avoid harm to the insects, use untreated wood. To fill the hotel you”ll need a selection of hollow stems. Bamboo canes are ideal for this. You’ll also need a drill, a screwdriver and some screws, a hammer and tacks, and some pruners. Begin by making the walls to your hotel. Attach the four sections of wood to each other using the screws. You may need to make a pilot hole for each screw before securing it into place. Join up the four walls so that one end
overlaps the other. With the walls complete, attach the back plate to create
a snug seal. You can mark the footprint of the walls onto the plate as a guide before screwing it into position. Now for the roof shingles. Use the tacks to simply
hammer these into place, overlapping the shingles to help rain
to run off and keep the inside of the hotel dry. If you wish, you can now paint the hotel with a natural non-toxic paint or wood stain to give a colorful finish.
Allow the paint to dry before continuing. It’s now time for the bedding materials. Cut the stems or bamboo to length. The bamboo should sit flush with the walls
of the hotel like this. Pack them into place to give a good solid finish. Drill 2 holes into the top of the backplate,
then thread some string through. Tie the ends into a knot and hang your hotel up in a dry sheltered place in full sun or dappled shade. In among trees and shrubs is ideal, or you could hammer your hotel into the eaves of a garden shed or outbuilding. If you live in an area
where termites are a problem be sure to site your bug hotel well away
from any buildings and keep it clear of the ground. A simple alternative to a bamboo
cane hotel is to drill lots of holes of varying sizes into a solid block of wood. Avoid drilling all the way through the block. You can also add a shingled roof for a decorative finish. Attach a vine eye, thread through your string, then hang up into position. As you can see it’s very easy to make a
safe and secure habitat for beneficial bugs to thrive. How do you attract
beneficial insects into your garden? Do let us know by dropping us a comment below. We produce simple gardening videos like this regularly, so if you haven’t yet subscribed to our video channel now’s the time to do so. I’ll see you next time –
but in the meantime, have fun building your bug hotel. [Music]

54 thoughts on “Bug Hotel: How to Make a Home for Beneficial Insects

  1. What happened to his singles? When he added them, they were correct. When he added the bamboo and hung it, they were backwards. They will pull the rain into the bug house.

  2. Afternoon lovie, good to watch this new vid o' yours. Picked up a lovely tip on how to store pumpkins from your mate yesterday. Can you do a short clip on how you deal with your courgettes and marrows? Cheers!

  3. How do you know the insects you attract are all beneficial? And do you really attract any? If I were a spider I'd prefer your shed.

  4. enjoyed your video those are neet bug hotels I have a friend that has one she sad that there really good pollinating bugs that are good for your plants that make there home in the of those

  5. For anyone watching in 2017 who doesn't want to make one themselves, Aldi currently have these in store for around £6.99

  6. I've planted lots of alyssum & marigolds in my garden & I have a huge colony of hover flies & lady birds living in my garden. I also found that lady birds are also attracted to sage.

  7. Placing shingles like that ,you get more water then without roof.first shingle goes on the bottom of the roof,then work way up.

  8. Great idea, but the roofing shingles are backwards and water will travel underneath. Unless it was done on purpose. Maybe to see who pays attention?😜😜😂

  9. This video is very well-meant, but propagates a few of the practices DISCOURAGED by entomologists. The small construct shown being built in the video is actually fairly ideal (though a bit shallow), but please ignore the suggestions and examples shown of BIG bug hotels for multiple specie. Don't try to make large multi-material bug hotels for several reasons — first, much too often, this puts predators right next to their prey. It also encourages too large a population of one naturally solitary specie, which is encouraging the spread of disease. So instead, make several smaller, single-material bug hotels such as the one actually being built in the video, each placed in different locations, and each using a specific material most favored by a particular insect. Note, too, that the hollow stems should really be 7-8 inches long rather than 4-6 inches, since in some species the female/male ratio of larvae is negatively affected by NOT being able to place some of them deeper into the stems.

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