How to build an insect hotel for the garden

Insect hotel

Are you wondering how to build an insect hotel for the garden? Building an insect hotel was my next little construction project. If you have a garden, now is the perfect time to build your insect hotel or bee hotel for the summer. We are still missing a net covering the insides and protecting the insects from birds, but other than that our hotel is open for business. Insect hotels are built especially in urban environments to create shelter for pollinators. They are ideal for gardens where insect pollination is needed. Ready-made hotels are sold in hardware stores, but it is not difficult to build one by yourself.

Building birdhouses has been trending in Finland in recent years, but hopefully this spring also insects get the much needed attention. The amount of pollinators has decreased globally. In fact, the extinction threatens 40% of all pollinators. The use of pesticides in agriculture is a major contributor to this. There is an ongoing campaign in Finland to save the pollinators and one way to participate is by building the insect hotel. It brings awareness to this topic because we can all make smarter choices as consumers.

Building insect hotel

I googled some inspirational pictures of the insect hotels and began the project. My dad had some materials for the frame, and we drilled many deep holes for the insects. I’m not sure about the size of the holes. But I did read that smaller size of the hotel in general is better because large insect hotels pose risk of disease and parasitism.

We selected a location, which is sunny and protected from the elements. It is also close to our strawberry field and garden flowers. I tried to do some gorilla marketing in the garden, but so far my hotel is still waiting for first guests.

Few tips for how to build the insect hotel

  • Small is better
  • Include plenty of holes or tubes
  • Use untreated wood and other natural materials
  • Select sunny and dry location
  • Maintain it clean from dead cells

As this was my first insect hotel, I can already see some mistakes I have made. But we will see how this works and make the improved version next spring!

Insect hotel guest

Check out also these posts about our other DIY projects

  • If you are interested in our other construction projects and how to build a Finnish lean-to shelter, check out this post.
  • Do you want to know how to make a DIY birdhouse from a log? There is always space for more birdhouses!

Update: This how the insect hotel occupancy rate started growing at the end of the summer:

How to build an insect hotel for the garden

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