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.
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).
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. . .
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:
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.
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.
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:
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!