Welcoming the Wildlife in - Insect Hotels

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Hospitality is close to our hearts at Thornybush Collection and it extends well beyond our lodges. Read on to see how we plan to make insects feel right at home in the heart of our community gardens.

Nature already provides all sorts of unplanned insect hotels within our area, and now is the perfect time for us to create some beautiful ones in the gardens.

What is an insect hotel?

An insect hotel is a purposefully made habitat for a wide range of insects, created out of all-natural and recycled materials. Insects are attracted to these creepy crawly condos as they represent the places where they would choose to live in nature.

Why make insects at home in your garden?

You can never have too many beneficial insects in your garden and an insect hotel invites them right in. Many insects fulfil the role of pollinators for vegetable species and others are the guardians of our gardens – taking care of any harmful bugs that enjoy snacking on the greens.

How to go about it?

Insects aren't too fussy about where they lay their hats so the main idea is to get as creative as possible and let our imaginations run wild during the construction process. As long as the insect hotel has cover against rain and frost and gets the morning sun, we should be halfway there.

The best part of an insect hotel is that you don't need any special materials to build it. Recycled pieces of wood, bamboo, old tiles, and rotted logs will do just fine. We need to drill hidey holes in any large pieces of wood to welcome nomadic bees, rotting wood and sticks bundled together are attractive to beetles and grass offcuts inside an old bottle are the lacewing's preferred lodgings.

Apart from providing a convenient nesting place for bugs, an insect hotel gives them a warm place to hide out during the winter. That way, when they emerge in the spring– they are on site and ready for action.

The problem with insect hotels

Being adjacent to the Manyeleti reserve, our community garden insect hotels are bound to come with a not quite so welcome extra. Uninvited guests in the form of snakes! They are already making themselves at home in our mulch piles, so we'll need to find a way around that.

On your next visit, book a tour of our community gardens to meet our other guests and check on their progress.


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Friday, 06 December 2019