Sunday, March 2, 2014

Insect Habitats

Insect habitats have been popular in Europe for many years because they are such a great way to attract all sorts of pollinators to your yard, while being beautiful in their own right. I have seen them in the Netherlands and France and all take on similar qualities.

From the Black Forest in Germany. Photo by Michael Bohnert.
Old stalks from last season, wood, logs and sticks all with holes drilled into them. Old clay pots, twine balls, hay- anything with a nook or a cranny will do. These can be arranged in wooden box of some sort,  or can be open sided like the one below, made from old pallets.
Copyright: Cheshire Wildlife Trust,
I like the dried corn in the one below, and the variety of natural materials.  Often they have a small roof to protect it from rain.

Insect hotel in Hamburg, Germany.

There are many insects that will be appreciative of more nesting space. Wasps, dragonflies, beetles, lacewings, ladybirds, moths, and the many solitary bees. Bumble bees, leafcutter bees, masked bees and digger bees for a few. This is a great project for people to learn more about these insects that get less attention. It is also a wonderful way to use natural materials that might just go to the compost pile.

Insect Habitat assembled from foraged organic materials and reclaimed
scrap, a habitat-in-waiting for bees and other native creatures. By
Kevin Smith and Lisa Lee Benjamin.
For my garden, I think I will try to make a visually interesting structure with textures and colors all arranged in patterns. Stay posted for the outcome!
For more about these great habitats and how to make and care for them, here are some sources:

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