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Insect House

If I want to attract birds to my garden (and more importantly to nest in my bird box camera) I will need to provide them with the right kind of environment – the kind they will want to settle down in.

It’s the end of Winter, the beginning of Spring. I’ve seen a couple of bumble bees buzzing about, so things must be warming up enough for the hibernating insects to wake up. But it’s no way near warm enough for plants to start growing, and certainly too soon for them to be infested with pests, let alone produce seeds, berries and other food for the birds to eat.

So while I have been hanging fat-based food balls and bird feeders from the few tree branches, I have been thinking about other ways to feed the birds too.

Insect HouseInspiration struck this weekend on a visit to a city farm. Someone there had created a wonderful insect house from bricks, tiles, straw, canes, cardboard and other bits and pieces. The result was a beautiful bug abode, that the queen bee herself would be proud of.

It may seem like an odd time of year to create a home for hibernating insects, but with not much else going on in the garden and plenty of pre-season tidying to be done now that all the flower seed heads are empty and the space needed for new growth, why not use select dried stems in the insect house design?

Close up of Insect HouseThere are plenty of insect house designs to try. Many insects have special requirements when they’re looking for a home. The city farm design above seemed to fit everything into one place (they did have a lot of space).

Their design started at the bottom with wooden pallets stuffed with straw, then placed on top were (in no particular order that I could see), bricks, old clay pipes filled with bamboo canes, chunks of wood with holes drilled, rolled up cardboard (corrugated end outwards). Then a second layer of pallets, with the random insect abodes on top, then a third layer, finally topped off with house roof apex/saddle tiles. Any gaps between materials were filled with straw, sticks, canes, pebbles or just left empty. I think it looks great.

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