Minibeast Hotel

Hi there, this is artybaker. I’ve been wanting to do this post for months. It’s about my Minibeast Hotel, which is basically just a homemade haven for insects and creepy crawlies.

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I got the idea off the internet somewhere… can’t remember where. This is the outline plan thingy I made (although I did make this after I’d made the actual thing).

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The top layer is sheltered by a transparent plastic box – I was trying to make a mini greenhouse. I was planning to use a saw to cut out one of the sides of the box so that the bugs could fly/crawl in, but then I found a hole in the box and the plastic wasn’t exactly very strong so I used a metal rod thingy I found in the garden to knock out the side. The edges are a bit rigid, but apart from that, it worked great! (Plus it was really satisfying)

Inside I filled an old dog bowl with rain water because I wanted to satisfy as many bugs as possible – including ones that like water. And then next to that I put some sand, for a sort of mini beach feel! On top of the sand I placed an old coconut shell up-side down. It was just on a whim really. I thought they might want some dark shelter or something. . .

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Oh, and I put some large pebbles in front of that. There was no particular reason, I just wanted to supply the minibeasts with lots of different environments, then let them choose which they like best.

The next layer consists of five bits of pipe that I filled with different materials:

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From left to right: Conker shells, sawdust, grass, rocks, dry leaves.

I stuffed the third layer full of pieces of wood and sticks, in varying states of rotting. I figured woodlice would like that.

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And finally, in the bottom layer I put a plastic tray containing compost. The compost is a mixture of normal soil from the garden, compost you buy from the shop and food waste. I change the compost occasionally/regularly, putting new food waste and soil in there to decompose.

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My minibeast hotel has it’s own special place in our garden on the flowerbed. We placed an old doormat over the soil then I built the structure up with bricks and planks of wood. I painted the bricks for two reasons: 1 because it looked a bit dull without it. 2 because I thought the colours might possible attract some insects? Worth a shot.

Dougal with the minibeast hotel:

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Almost everything I used to make this was recycled, and I found almost all of it in our back garden. It’s a great way to recycle old things and help small animals. It’s also really easy (although can take a while) to make. I haven’t looked inside too thoroughly but so far I’ve found these creatures: woodlouse, millipede, slug, worm, ladybird (don’t what that wanted in there!), ant and a few other things I don’t know the names of. No signs of caterpillars of flies or anything, but it doesn’t matter. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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