“Insects, worms and other small animals that carry out vital functions for life on earth have declined by 45 per cent on average over 35 years, threatening human health, water quality and food supplies…”
-Steve Connor, “Vital invertebrates decline by 45 per cent, study finds,” independent.co.uk, July 2014
Right now, insect population is on a rapid decline, along with their habitat. This insect hotel is a designated home for insects to settle into, lay eggs, and stay safe; helping preserve the population that is at risk. Before beginning this project, I wasn’t completely aware of the degree of danger our insect population is in. After becoming more educated on the issue I was excited to do my part in aiding the insects. I take this issue to heart because growing up, and still now, spend a lot of my time enjoying the outdoors. A fond memory of mine is watching dragon flies and other little insects graze along the smooth surface of the water while I was out fishing early in the morning. I’d like to do what I can so that many more people in the future can still enjoy the same sights.
The design I wanted for my piece was for it to have a simpler design on the exterior, with a soft geometric pattern in the interior that I thought would settle in nicely to a natural landscape. My preference for the display of my piece would be to have it perched a few feet off of the ground, resting on some type of stone or wooden support.
When creating the habitat of my hotel I wanted to have it appeal to all types of insects rather than a few specific species. Some materials I included into the habitat are dead wood, twigs, and dry leafs. The dead wood will provide a nice home for wood-boring beetle species to lay larva in, and the twigs and leafs offer comfortable homes for all types of invertebrates – just like the forest floor. Within the chambers of the hotel I left some room to open the possibly of different wasps, bees, or hornets to come make a nest there as well. Hopefully benefiting a wide spectrum of the insect population.
Interested in how you can help?
Here are some links to different insect houses for purchase, or to build yourself:
Mason Bee’s – http://www.gardeners.com/buy/mason-bee-house/37-481.html
Butterfly Resting Station – http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-to-createyour-own-monarch-butterfly-rest-stop
Bumble Bee’s – http://www.bumblebee.org/nestboxes.htm
DNR maintenance report
To properly maintain this hotel I would recommend a replacement of materials annually or if they suffer sever deterioration and leave no habitat for the insects. When doing this pull out the screws on the right side of the hotel (if you are facing the front of it) and pull back the chicken wire – it is permanently attached on the left side. Once the chicken wire is out of the way simply remove the habitat and replace it with fresh foliage.