How to Build a Bug Hotel
When it comes to creating your bug hotel, you can design it any way you desire. There are some important rules to follow to ensure you keep it clean and weather resistant, and provide suitable nesting material for your chosen pollinator(s).
1. To begin, you need a frame for your nesting materials to sit in. This can be premade, or built from scratch. I have chosen to reuse an old bookshelf, but you can buy or source wooden planks that you cut and nail together. Make sure the top planks sit out a little further to provide an overhang for the rain to runoff without getting inside the hotel.
2. To make sure your hotel is protected from the rain, seal the back with a wooden board. I reused leftover wood chip board and nailed it to the back of my old bookshelf.
3. Now that you have a sealed frame, it’s time to choose your nesting materials. I have chosen a selection of nesting materials for bees, butterflies, bugs, beetles, and lacewings, because each type has a role in keeping your pollinator garden healthy.
Click HERE to find out which nesting materials are suited to your pollinator species of choice.
4. When placing your nesting materials in your frame, keep them in sections—it makes them easier to maintain and replace when materials get old.
5. You’re almost there… You need to cover the front of your hotel with wire or netted material to keep your nesting material in place and prevent predators from getting into the hotel. I have chosen to reuse the netting that my oranges came in from the supermarket. You might have noticed a theme with my “Bug Hotel”—it’s all made from leftover or waste material.
6. Now it’s time to place your hotel in the garden. Find a place that gets sun and shade with protection from the winds and rain. Check out my pollinator garden layout to see where I have placed my hotel.
7. Make sure you keep your hotel off the ground to prevent moisture seeping in. You can place your hotel on stilts with plant pots or fix the hotel to a post and set that in the ground.
8. Congratulations! Stand up and take a bow because you have taken an important step forward to protecting your local wildlife and ecosystem. Tell your friends about it and encourage them to do the same, because together we can make a difference.