Sunday, 5 March 2017

Be Kind - Help a Bug Find a Home

Wikimedia, Public Domain

Help a bug find a home by making a beautiful Bug Hotel. Great fun for kids.

Beetles, bumblebees, wild bees, spiders, ladybirds, lacewings and bugs of all kinds want somewhere safe to keep warm in the cold weather. A great project for the whole family is to construct a beautiful Bug Hotel in the corner of your garden out of bits and pieces lying around. Your bug hotel can be round or square. Round is easier because you can twist a piece of wire netting into a cylinder and fix it together, then pile all the dead wood, twigs and leaves inside.

A square or oblong bug hotel can be constructed in layers, almost like a cake, with sheets of dead wood, leaves and twigs in between.  Pipes are good too, as bugs like narrow spaces to crawl inside. Just leave the end poking out of the material to invite them inside. Poking sticks and thick plant stems through the wire netting into the material will help keep it in place and dry.

A few flat pieces of metal also help to protect snails and slugs.

Why is this such a worthy project?

Firstly, the birds and animals in your garden need to eat, just as we do. Nurturing your bugs is a good way to ensure your garden will always be full of wildlife, as well as tidy.

Secondly, it's hands-on, and so it's a great way for the children (and you) to learn how to create a unique eco-system and get close to nature. Remember the wise old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

 Autumn or Fall - a Busy time for Bug-Carers.

The best time to create your bug hotel is the Autumn so that in the spring, you can carefully take it apart and see exactly who has taken advantage of your hospitality to shelter for the winter.

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