If you’re looking for a fun DIY project that also benefits your garden, consider building an insect hotel! In this article, we’ll guide you through the process and provide helpful tips.

An insect hotel serves as a shelter, wintering spot, and egg-laying site for insects. You can either purchase one from a garden center or make your own. By having an insect hotel, you’ll attract bees, bumblebees, ladybugs, and butterflies to your garden, which not only enhances biodiversity but also adds a delightful touch.

insect hotel

Insect Hotel DIY

You have the freedom to make your insect hotel as big or small as you’d like. Typically, it takes the form of a house with multiple compartments, offering various fillings to accommodate a diverse range of insects. To start, rummage through your shed for the necessary materials. You’ll need a back panel shaped like a house, a roof, two side panels, a bottom, and wood for the compartments. You can decide the quantity and size of the planks. Since insects dislike glue and paint, opt for natural wood. Remember, an insect hotel doesn’t need to be perfectly assembled; insects appreciate nooks and crannies as additional hiding spots.

The widest plank you can find will work for the back panel. For instance, if you have a 25-centimeter-wide plank, your house will be 25 centimeters wide. You can determine the height as per your preference. Cut off two corners at the top to create the basic shape of your house.

The front of the roof should slightly overhang to prevent excess rain from entering your hotel. Attach the roof to the back panel, ensuring that the two parts overlap. Refer to the illustration for clarity.

The side panels can be thinner, allowing more space for insects. Measure the length of your back panel and cut the planks accordingly.

The bottom and intermediate shelves don’t need to be thick either. Measure the width between the two side panels and attach the bottom piece between them. Then, place the dividing panels to create compartments for your insects.

By following these instructions, you’ll be well on your way to constructing an insect hotel that will attract and provide a safe haven for a variety of garden bugs. Enjoy the process and watch your garden come alive with buzzing visitors!

Materialen insectenhotel

Materials for an Insect Hotel

The foundation of your house is set. Now, let’s talk about the filling. The choice of filling depends on what you have available and the specific insects you want to attract to your hotel. Whatever filling you choose, make sure it’s securely fixed. You wouldn’t want a gust of wind scattering your carefully collected pinecones all over the garden!

Using Tree Stumps in Your Bug Hotel

Gather small tree stumps or thick branches and drill holes into them. Bees, among others, use dead tree stumps and branches to create their nests.

Pinecones for Your Insect Hotel

Fill a compartment with pinecones. Pinecones are perfect for ladybugs and earwigs. You can simply collect them from a nearby forest, and they will last for years.

Bamboo in Your Insect shelter

Bees and digger wasps love bamboo, hollow branches, or reeds. Fill a compartment with bamboo of various thicknesses, ensuring it’s packed tightly to keep the bamboo in place. You can also supplement this compartment with reeds to further secure the bamboo.

Wood with Holes

Take a solid piece of wood and drill holes of different diameters, ranging from around four to eight millimeters. These holes make excellent hiding spots for solitary bees and mason bees. Place the piece of wood in one of the compartments. If your piece of wood isn’t large enough, you can secure it with screws or nails.

Brick with Holes for the Insect Hotel

You’ve probably seen those bricks with holes in them. They are highly favored by mason bees. If the brick is too big, use a hammer to break it into the right size.

Attracting Butterflies to Your Insect Hotel

If you want butterflies in your insect hotel, fill a compartment with several dried twigs that have leaves attached. Seal this compartment with a small board containing slots about one centimeter wide and eight to ten centimeters long. Butterflies can crawl through these slots and use the twigs as perches.

For more tips on attracting butterflies, read the article “How to create the perfect butterfly garden

Finding a perfect spot for your insect hotel

Hanging Your Insect Hotel

Insects prefer a dry and warm location. Therefore, the best spot for your insect hotel is on the south side, at least 50 centimeters above the ground, and no higher than two meters. Ideally, choose a sheltered area with minimal wind and rain. Opt for a flower-rich location if possible, as this increases the chances of attracting butterflies, bumblebees, and solitary bees. Once your hotel is hung, avoid moving it.