Top Tips for Insect Hotels

Our gardens are just getting too neat and orderly! Maybe it's because we just don't get the land with houses any more, maybe it's because mess is not 'zen', but it's a sad fact that beneficial bugs like the mess and there's just not enough of it left!

Bees we know most about, as a rule, as gardeners. We know that solitary bees like the holes found in the centre of bamboo canes, some like the mortar in our bricks. We often promise ourselves we will make our own bee house out of the odds and ends in the garden shed, but never seems to get done. Bees are fantastic pollinators and do a great job in our gardens, but they need a safe place to rest and bring up their families in our gardens in order to do the pollinating for us. The leaf cutter bee is the most interesting to watch, as she will first off find a bamboo can that is the right diameter for her body. She will then go to a leaf (most commonly a rose) and cut out a disk that is the same size as her body. Then she takes it back to the bee hotel and sticks it at the back of the cane. She then lays an egg inside, collects lots of pollen for the grub to eat once it hatches and cuts another section of leaf to create a bedroom. She repeats this process until the tube is filled up. She will use another tube to sleep in herself and will continue to do this until her time has come… Children can safely watch this process as leaf cutter bees are docile, and assuming they are not interfered with will get on with their day.

Butterflies naturally look for crevices they can shelter in, sometimes they get stuck in our sheds and garages, so placing a butterfly house nearby can provide somewhere safer for them to shelter or hibernate in. They like to be on a South facing wall, something that is in the sun at 10am is perfect, about eye level is ideal. The butterfly houses that The Growing Obsession have for sale are really easy to put up, just use a standard screw and when it is the right depth the roof and floor of the butterfly hotel will sit tight to the wall or fence with the metal clip on the back of the butterfly hotel. If you sometimes find hibernating butterflies in your shed or garage, one of these hotels would be ideal as they can often find their way inside but not back out.

Ladybirds like the horizontal slots to hide inside. You may find them in your bay window, or a lavender or hebe. But what happens if you want to cut these back or get rid of them totally? A ladybird hotel will provide somewhere safe for them to shelter inside. Just put a few dry leaves inside (must be dry or they may rot) using the easy to use door on the side and place on a similar wall to the butterfly house, just a little lower down as they don’t like to fly as high for their house. About waist height is ideal. A juvenile ladybird can eat over 100 blackfly or greenfly A DAY, so just imagine how many a whole family could much through. If you grow roses, or broad beans, a ladybird house is exactly what you need. If you are an organic gardener, then this is ideal too. Get those natural pest control methods going! Ladybirds are no threat to plants as they are carnivorous, taking care of the plant eating bugs! And who doesn’t like a Ladybird or 2?


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Top Tips for Insect Hotels

Our gardens are just getting too neat and orderly! Maybe it's because we just don't get the land with houses any more, maybe it's because mess is not 'zen', but it's a sad fact that beneficial bugs like the mess and there's just not enough of it left!

Bees we know most about, as a rule, as gardeners. We know that solitary bees like the holes found in the centre of bamboo canes, some like the mortar in our bricks. We often promise ourselves we will make our own bee house out of the odds and ends in the garden shed, but never seems to get done. Bees are fantastic pollinators and do a great job in our gardens, but they need a safe place to rest and bring up their families in our gardens in order to do the pollinating for us. The leaf cutter bee is the most interesting to watch, as she will first off find a bamboo can that is the right diameter for her body. She will then go to a leaf (most commonly a rose) and cut out a disk that is the same size as her body. Then she takes it back to the bee hotel and sticks it at the back of the cane. She then lays an egg inside, collects lots of pollen for the grub to eat once it hatches and cuts another section of leaf to create a bedroom. She repeats this process until the tube is filled up. She will use another tube to sleep in herself and will continue to do this until her time has come… Children can safely watch this process as leaf cutter bees are docile, and assuming they are not interfered with will get on with their day.

Butterflies naturally look for crevices they can shelter in, sometimes they get stuck in our sheds and garages, so placing a butterfly house nearby can provide somewhere safer for them to shelter or hibernate in. They like to be on a South facing wall, something that is in the sun at 10am is perfect, about eye level is ideal. The butterfly houses that The Growing Obsession have for sale are really easy to put up, just use a standard screw and when it is the right depth the roof and floor of the butterfly hotel will sit tight to the wall or fence with the metal clip on the back of the butterfly hotel. If you sometimes find hibernating butterflies in your shed or garage, one of these hotels would be ideal as they can often find their way inside but not back out.

Ladybirds like the horizontal slots to hide inside. You may find them in your bay window, or a lavender or hebe. But what happens if you want to cut these back or get rid of them totally? A ladybird hotel will provide somewhere safe for them to shelter inside. Just put a few dry leaves inside (must be dry or they may rot) using the easy to use door on the side and place on a similar wall to the butterfly house, just a little lower down as they don’t like to fly as high for their house. About waist height is ideal. A juvenile ladybird can eat over 100 blackfly or greenfly A DAY, so just imagine how many a whole family could much through. If you grow roses, or broad beans, a ladybird house is exactly what you need. If you are an organic gardener, then this is ideal too. Get those natural pest control methods going! Ladybirds are no threat to plants as they are carnivorous, taking care of the plant eating bugs! And who doesn’t like a Ladybird or 2?


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