How to make a bug hotel

Whether you have a large space, or just a windowbox, you can make a bug hotel that not only provides sanctuary for a host of fascinating creatures but also allows you to get close to them. 


Here, Natalie Johnson of the Wild Network, explains how to make your own Bug Hotel. 


1. Build a suitable box shape, from wood (roughly 20x20cm for the base), then 20x30cm for the sides, and two more 20x20cm roof pieces and nail them all together. Or, slightly less satisfying, you could save time by buying a small wooden bird box from a garden centre.

2. Collect short hollow tubes to make homes for the insects. Elder or buddleia stems are perfect for this, though you need to hollow them with a skewer. Hollow bamboo and straw works well, too. You can also drill holes into small logs to create different size bug channels.

3. Jam your twigs, hollow stems, bits of wood and straw into your bug house. (Or, a simple option, poke them all them into a kitchen roll. Put some string around it, as it will eventually disintegrate.) 

4. Leave your bug house in a sheltered corner of the garden or even inside a shed and come back regularly to check for bug activity. Take photos of what you find to  identify bugs.


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