Insect hotels | Luring insects to the garden pond is how you do it
Chris van der Velde
An insect hotel is a structure specially designed to provide a safe environment for different species of insects. It is an important contribution to maintaining biodiversity and can be placed in a variety of green environments.
Building materials for making your own insect hotel
All about bee hotels and insect hotels
- Where is an insect hotel best hung?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of an insect hotel?
- The difference between bee hotels and insect hotels
- What should be in a bug hotel?
- How do I attract bees and other insects with aquatic plants?
- What does a bee do in an insect hotel?
- What to look out for when making an insect hotel?
Where is an insect hotel best hung?
It is ideal to hang an insect hive in a place that is preferably sunny and especially sheltered from the wind. You can hang the insect hive up to a height of 2 meters, but a height of about half a meter above the ground is also fine. It is recommended to choose a flowery location near a pond with different types of aquatic plants.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an insect hotel?
An insect hotel offers several benefits. For example, along with aquatic plants, a safe shelter and nesting place for various species of insects and other pond animals and can make an important contribution to biodiversity and food production. However, if insect hotels are not properly maintained, they can be detrimental to the insect population. Furthermore, they can attract unwanted insects, which can sometimes lead to human nuisance. Therefore, it is important to place insect hotels in the right place and maintain them properly.
Colorful marsh plants are the insect attractors
Bog plants with large colorful flowers contain nectar, which is very popular among many insects. If you want to increase biodiversity in and around the pond by attracting insects such as bees and butterflies, then colorful marsh plants are the way to go. - Simon
The difference between bee hotels and insect hotels
Bee hotels are specially designed for bees and have small holes suitable for solitary bees. These bees lay their eggs in the holes and provide them with food before they hatch. Bee hotels are very important because many species of bees are threatened with extinction. Insect hotels are broader in scope and provide shelter for different types of insects, such as butterflies, bees, wasps and beetles. They can contain different types of openings and compartments to meet the needs of different insects.
What should be in a bug hotel?
To attract a diversity of insects, you can include water plants in your insect hotel in addition to using wood from oak, maple, ash or beech. By adding aquatic plants, you create an attractive environment for water-borne insects. For example, you can use reeds, shingles, plant scraps, pine cones or loam to create cavities and crevices in which insects can hide. In addition, aquatic plants provide an ideal place for insects to lay eggs and reproduce. By combining both wood and aquatic plants, you will make your insect hotel even more attractive to a wide range of insect species.
How do I attract bees and other insects with aquatic plants?
There are several pond plants that can be useful near an insect hotel because they can serve as food or shelter for different types of insects. Here are some examples: Water lilies, because they provide shade and shelter and a place to rest for bees and butterflies where they can simultaneously feed on the nectar from flowers of pond plants. Also marsh plants with colorful flowers are ideal for attracting insects to the pond because of the nectar the flowers contain. Remember that it is important to provide varied and healthy plant growth around any type of pond and the insect hotel, as this creates a healthy habitat for different types of insects. The photo below shows a bee on the aquatic plants: 'Water mint, Mentha Aquatica'.
What does a bee do in an insect hotel?
Hanging a bee hotel helps promote bee reproduction. A bee hotel consists of several tubes in which bees lay their eggs. Between each egg, the bees place a ball of pollen and nectar. Once the larvae hatch from the egg, they should feed on this food.
What to look out for when making an insect hotel?
To make your own insect hotel, gather different materials such as logs, hollow stems, reeds, straw, pine cones, corks, empty toilet rolls, dry leaves and twigs and build a sturdy frame made of wood or bamboo, for example. Fill the frame with the materials and make the rooms different sizes to attract different kinds of insects. Cover the insect hotel with a roof, place it in a sheltered, sunny spot near flowers and plants for food and pollination, and check and clean the insect hotel regularly. If you want to make your own insect hotel, note the following:
- Vary the diameter of the bores and stems between 2 and 9 millimeters.
- Make the drill strakes long enough for multiple nest cells.
- Make sure the holes or stems are closed on one side.
- Use smooth wood and preferably place the holes perpendicular to the fiber direction.
- Provide a waterproof shelter to keep the nests dry.
Frequently asked questions about the insect hotel
Place the insect hotel sheltered and sunny, 1-2 feet above the ground, close to flowers and plants for food and pollination. Provide variety of rooms and materials to attract different insect species.
To attract insects to your insect hotel, provide different nesting opportunities and materials such as logs, stalks, reeds, straw and pine cones. Place the hotel near flowers and plants that attract insects for food and pollination and be patient, it may take a while for them to discover it.
Simon van der Velde
Pond specialist and aquatic plant grower since 1986
Simon's vision is to let nature do its work in your pond. No need to buy all kinds of measuring equipment and water improvers. If the fish are swimming nicely and the plants are growing well, then the water in the pond is of good quality. With a good planting plan and the right approach, you can save a lot of money and maintenance, and ensure a clear, biologically balanced pond that becomes more beautiful every year.