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Build a Bug House out of old pallets
Build a Bug House out of old pallets

Build a Bug House out of old pallets

If you can get some old wooden pallets and stack them up (make sure they are stable in case kids try to climb on them) you can make a great minibeast hotel. Let the children find stem or card tubes, cones, straw, corrugated cardboard roled up, logs with holes drilled in etc. to fill the compartments. Let them use their imagination! At any time of year you can help them tip out some of the tubes into a white collecting tray to see what they have got, whilst leaving the rest intact. After a lot of experimentation I have found these commercially available tubes to be the best at attracting Mason Bees and Leaf Cutter bees to nest in;
Red Mason Bees will use them in spring and fill up the opening with mud after laying their eggs inside. Leafcutter bees will use the empty tubes in mid to late summer, sealing the tubes with a piece of leaf (often from a rose bush). Important to site them at the right height – about 1 metre above the ground level, and in full sun (tube ends facing south) Also most important to give them a good rain-proof roof. Getting wet is fatal as the cardboard gets soaked and rots. You can bring the tubes indoors in winter into a cold shed or unheated garage. It makes it easier to keep them dry.

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