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Building a Bug Hotel

Beneficial bugs are a mainstay in the Nature Cycle Market Garden and they are some of the hardest working and most consistent performers we employ. To maintain minimal crop losses to the proliferation of a certain leaf eating or sap sucking bug species we need to employ the services of the plethora of predatory insects available in natural settings. 

What better way to add a savvy and functional piece to the garden than by adding some artsy arthropod accommodation. A bug hotel/insect hotel/invertebrate inn/chitin chapel can be a bit of natural eye candy, needn't cost a dollar and end up becoming something you go out of your way to check in on because the rooms are always abuzz with activity. All the furnishings we need to create a little stop over for our hardworking bug employees can easily be found around the yard and local neighborhood! For this insect hotel we are predominantly looking at facilitating homely conditions for our local wasps and bees. The wasps are dominant predators taking on a great deal of caterpillar, aphid and thrip control while the bees are hardworking pollinators ensuring the sexual needs of my plants are being met. These two high fliers require room sizes from 4.5mm to 10mm width and 10-15cm depth, they need the rooms to be out of prevailing winds, out of the prevailing afternoon sun and not fill up with water, otherwise as long as they are close to a meal they are pretty content.

Materials:

  • Untreated Pine
  • Nails/Screws (depends if you use a hammer or drill)
  • Dried Bamboo
  • Wooden Logs
  • Wood Branches

Instructions:

  1. Cut the untreated pine to the desired lengths of your insect hotel. (I used 40cm length and 25cm width for this one)
  2. Cut the dried bamboo, wooden logs and wooden branches into 10-15cm lengths.
  3. Drill multiple 4.5mm and 10mm holes into the wooden logs.
  4. Nail/screw the untreated pine into a box.
  5. Fill the box with the cut dried bamboo, the drilled wooden logs and the wooden branches.
  6. Fasten the pieces in place by hammering in wedges of wooden branch or timber around the edges.
  7. Set out in the garden