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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Vandals smash Bug Hotel!! Shocking!

Today's post is about some sad news related to Insect Hotels.

The story first popped up on twitter and now here's a link to the Basingstoke Gazette's article about it:

http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/10579289.Vandals_smash_Buckskin_s__bug_hotel_/

This is the sad news that a community centre's insect hotel was smashed up by vandals. It really saddens you to hear about such things like this, and makes you ponder, who could do such a thing?!

This has not only rightly upset the members of the community centre but also these vandals have destroyed the habitats of many creatures.

It is a mindless and harmful act and the people responsible need to be caught and punished accordingly.

Spread the word and let's try to find the people who did this and bring them to justice.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Welsh Bee Action Plan

An article on the BBC website, once again highlighted the importance of pollinators, here's the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-23410560

The article states that the "value of pollinators to the UK as a whole is estimated to be £430m a year", which is a huge amount. People have known of the importance of pollinators in biological terms but this shows that there is a big finical importance as well.

The article also talks about the Welsh governments action plan to try to increase pollinator numbers.
The plan will focus on four areas:
  • Bringing together policies and evidence as a base for action
  • Providing diverse and connected flower-rich habitats to support pollinators
  • Ensuring pollinator populations in Wales are healthy
  • Raising awareness to ensure people in Wales are better informed about how to manage land to attracts bees and pollinators.
 As part of the plan, the Welsh government will also establish a Pollinators Taskforce, which will help develop an awareness campaign and a best practice guide for councils.

All this is good news, as we know any actions that will help pollinators is great to hear and hopefully will encourage more to do the same.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Materials: Wool



Following a tweet from one of our followers, @moggymidge , about how they'd used sheep fleece in their bug hotel, this post is all about wool.

Here is @moggymidge's bug hotel:

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A great little home built bug hotel, with a number of different components

Wool is a great material to use in bug hotels, its natural, can be shaped and squeezed into spaces. It's probably the perfect filler to go round other elements of the bug hotel. It also provides lots of different shaped spaces for invertebrates.

Here's another bug house, where you can see the use of wool.

Wool & garden clippings 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, @bug_hotel

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Grass-Free lawn continued.

Interestingly following on from my last post about the world's first public grass-free lawn, this is a article that was published on the Guardian website today!

Here's the link - http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jul/12/gardens-grass-free-floral-lawns

If you found the last post interesting, then give this article a read, as it gives a little more detail about the plant species used and even how you can go about growing your own grass-free lawn!


The floral lawn at Avondale Park

Remember, follow us on Twitter @bug_hotel

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Grass-Free lawn, perfect for pollinators!

Today we thought we'd share a video on the BBC website from last month. Mainly because it sticks in the mind.

Here's the link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22846419

The video looks at the Grass-Free lawn that has opened in Kensington and Chelsea’s Avondale Park. The lawn is the world's first public grass-free lawn. It was developed by Lionel Smith, PhD researcher from the University of Reading. He states that research shows that the lawn provides a better habitat for pollinating insects than traditional grass.

It looks awesome and so colourful! It's great for pollinators and it has been designed exactly for that reason.

Within the 200-square-meter lawn, there are over 30 species. including; mint, chamomile, daisies, thyme and red-flowering clover. With no grass and more flowers, the lawn requires a lot less mowing, only 3-9 times a year, and watering, and no fertiliser. Which means it's a lot more "Eco-friendly", as well as being beneficial in terms of biodiversity and for all those pollinators.

We here at Insect Hotels think its great!! What do you think?
Don't forget to follow as on twitter @bug_hotel


Saturday, 6 July 2013

What is used to make a Bug / Insect Hotel?

Today I thought I'd give a list of materials that are used to make a Bug / Insect Hotel.
It does depend what type of bug hotel you're making, whether it's made from all natural materials or one containing man made products as well.

Here's a list of all different types of materials that could be used:

Palates or strips of wood,
Roof tiles,
Plastic and ceramic pipes of various sizes,
Deadwood – sticks and logs of all sizes,
Logs drilled with various sized holes,
Hollow bamboo canes,
Bricks and concrete blocks (preferably with holes),
Cardboard tubes and corrugated card (keep them dry though),
Roofing felt,
Stones,
Crushed brick and concrete rubble,
Straw,
Hay,
Dry leaf litter,
Sand,
Plastic bottles,
Pen casings and drinking straws,
Plant pots,
Pine cones,
The list can go on and on, pretty much use any materials that either have holes in or that grouped together make spaces that insects can get into.

Bamboo canes, as shown here, are perfect for bug hotels. They already have holes in, which insects can get into and they also make spaces between the canes. This means lots of new homes for different bugs!




Friday, 5 July 2013

The Next Level of Bug Hotels

I found a link to this on Twitter yesterday, follow us on @bug_hotel by the way, it's a link to an awesome design for bug hotels built into walls of a new structure.

Here's the link, http://wildlifegadgetman.com/?p=1645

Hide-Bug-Panels-Part-3-1
Here's a photo, if you don't want to open the link.

As you can see, the idea is to integrate bug hotels into the walls of the structure. Not only does this give a massive area for creatures to make a home in, it also looks great!! The different sized logs work really well.

I'm not suggesting that we should all build our houses like this, but think about ways in which you could incorporate a bug hotel into a structure in your garden. The shed is the most obvious place, whether you've got an existing one and you add something on the outside, or whether you building a new one and incorporate into your design.

Either way, have bugs in mind when you're next building in the garden and reap the rewards of something that will look great but also give a helping hand to those important bugs in your garden.






We're on Twitter!! @bug_hotel

Last night we entered the world of Twitter!

Follow us at @bug_hotel

Links to the lastest blog articles will be tweeted as well as other interesting links, photos etc, related to insects and bugs that can also be found on Twitter.

Give us a follow and tell your friends to as well.

Thank you!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

"Bee Friendly" and download this App

Today I came across this article in The Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/20/smartphone-app-bee-scientists?INTCMP=SRCH

It gives details about a App for iOS and Andriod, which is FREE by the way, which encourages people to give a record of the insects they see. Don't worry you dont need to be an expert to record what you see, just put in what they are generally, e.g bee. You upload photos of the insects you see and where as well. The whole idea is to try to gain important information about pollinators and the plants that they are attracted to. The App is called "Bee Friendly", see what they did there?, and is supported by Waitrose, Earthwatch and The Crown Estate, with information being used by the University of Sussex.

This is a link to the Waitrose page which has the links to download the App.
 http://www.waitrose.com/bees

So download the App, get out into your garden, and have a look what you find and record it on the App.

Come on, "Bee Friendly"!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Bee Hotels for all new developments?

This is an article that I noticed over the weekend in the Daily Telegraph,

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/10148561/Council-grass-cutting-ban-to-protect-bees-is-planned.html

If this comes into force, then I believe it will be very good news. I feel at the moment that very little is done to help a number of small creature populations, including bees. Bee's are getting the most media attention at the moment, which is good, becuase of the huge importance of bee to ecosystems. You hear a lot about the decline of bee's, but little about how to stop the decline and how to help improve the situation. So this news is good to hear, obviously this is just advice and ideas at the moment, but it would be great if these "bee-friendly" measures did become policy.

Monday, 1 July 2013

What are Insect / Bug Hotels



My first post is simply about what Insect / Bug Hotels are...

The simplest definition is that found on Wikipedia. They describe a bug/insect hotel as:
 “A manmade structure created from natural materials, they can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the specific purpose or specific insect it is catered to. Most consist of several different sections that provide insects with nesting facilities – particularly during winter, offering shelter or refuge for many types of insects.”

This is the standard type of insect hotel that comes to most people’s minds when they think about an insect/bug hotel.

Insect hotels are a great way to give the smallest creatures in your garden a helping hand. In future posts I'll look into what type of creatures enjoy a bug hotel and also which ones that are in real need of your help. I’ll also look at different types of designs for insect hotels and different materials that can be used in their creation.

Welcome



Welcome to Insect Hotels.

A place for all things related to Bug Hotel / Insect Hotels.

Interesting information, photos, links and discussion points.