Insect hotels – a fad or a refuge

I’m on the track of the bugs and beetles I should cultivate and encourage in my garden.  Garden centres are offering insect hotels and lots of organisations offer workshops to build a bug hotel – what’s been hard to find out what bugs do I want to encourage in the garden, will they all inhabit the house?  This article shows why the design of your hotel is so important

Garden Pests -The Big Bug Hunt

It’s time to stop thinking about pests in the garden.  The more I read the more I think it’s about understanding, tolerating and working with nature.  I don’t like the title of this site and I won’t be using any of the chemicals that they suggest but it’s a great site for identifying pests you might have, the damage they might cause and things you can do to manage them if you find you have them.  The Big Bug Hunt

A guide to Building Bug Hotels      

This guide to building a Bug Hotel is more about what and why than a step-by-step approach.  What’s nice about it is the explanation about what you can use and why – what insect is it likely to attract. There are lots of suggestions about materials you might use and photos of different bug hotels for inspiration.

We recommend you read the item Insect hotels – a fad or a refuge  as this article doesn’t cover a couple of important things.  1. You need to clean out your bug hotel about every couple of years.  The problem with attracting lots of different insects to one home is that it’s not natural and therefore increases the potential of diseases and parasites.   2.  Different bees need different size holes and they need the tubes to be smooth so they don’t get damaged getting in and out.

Planting for Bugs

A summary of research done at the RHS into whether native plants are better for bugs than aliens.  The focus in this garden is on home gardeners and what we should be planting in our gardens to support bug life

“In all, the study found that the best way to support invertebrates in gardens and promote a healthy ecosystem, is to choose plantings biased towards British native plants and encourage dense vegetation, while leaving some patches of bare soil.”

Provides links to a list of recommended plants for pollinators and a link to plants for plant-dwelling invertebrates