Bug Hotel Information
Positioning your Bug Hotel.
To attract beneficial bugs to your garden, hang your Bug Hotel about a meter off the ground in a sunny position, the more sun the better, a brick or stone wall is ideal as they radiate heat back into the bug hotel, but a fence or tree will do. Solitary bees are cold blooded and need the heat for the larvae to develop. While they need the warmth of the sun try not to position it where it will get the full force of wind and rain. Once you have put your Bug Hotel up leave it alone and let nature take its course.
If your Bug Hotel is being put up to help educate children about insects that live along side us, the idea is not to pull the Bug Hotel apart to see what is living there, but to observe what insects live in your garden. We would suggest that once you have put the Bug Hotel up you do a survey of the plants in the garden and make a note what bugs are living in your garden. In our information section we do have a small chart to help you that shows beneficial bugs, bad bugs, and the plants the bad bugs feed on. Roughly every 2 months repeat your survey and see how the mix of beneficial and bad bugs has changed. This will also help you to make decisions about whether to make other changes to your habitat.
If you do look at your Bug Hotel (without pulling it apart), you are unlikely to see much as any residents will generally be hiding. Something you may see is the hollow sticks or larger logs with holes drilled in them have been plugged on the outside, this is done by solitary bees, solitary bees do not swarm and are very docile and unlikely to sting so don’t worry. The female solitary bee will lay her larvae at the far end of the hollow stick and lay more one after the other with some pollen to feed on and walls each into its own cell until she reaches the open end and then she plugs it with either mud (if shes a mason bee) or chewed up leaves (if she is a leaf cutter bee) and the grubs develop inside. The grubs she towards the open (but plugged) end hatch first and emerge they are males known as drones); the grubs further back are females and emerge a little later. The drones will hang around waiting for the females to emerge and then mate, the drones then die and the females go off to collect pollen (and pollinate plants and trees as they do) and start the cycle again.
We do sell Bug hunting kits which include a more comprehensive bug identification book, for more details about their content look at our bug hunting kits, in the Bug Hotel collection.