This step by step tutorial of how to build a garden wildlife hotel shelter is made from wood pallets and natural things found in nature. Insect hotels are simple to make recycled materials such as pine cones, branches, dry rolled up leaves, grasses, bark, moss, wood pallets, hollow reeds, bamboo and bricks. These hotels are essential for all beneficial insects and small mammals to find shelter year round – especially in the winter.
You can take a section of 2 by 4 lumber and drill in depth holes (not all the way through) across the piece of wood in a grid pattern. Cut a long piece of bamboo into small equal sections and fill in tiny spaces in your garden wildlife hotel shelter.
Some varieties of species hibernate throughout the winter and a safe place to dig in for the winter can be life saving for them which translates into better health for your garden the following year.
When it comes to drilling “bee holes” in wood, take into consideration the fact that different bee species are drawn to different sizes of holes for shelter and egg-laying:
• For leafcutter bees, the drilled holes should be 1/4″ wide and 2 1/2 -4″ deep.
• For mason bees, drill holes that are 6″ deep, 5/16″ wide.
Try to space holes at least 3/4″ apart, and never drill entirely through the wooden blocks.
This Instructable will show you how to make a five star bug hotel, providing shelter for a wide variety of invertebrates as well as small mammals and maybe even a hedgehog! A superb way to encourage wildlife into your garden.
Step 1: You will need….
Five wooden pallets
Cordless screwdriver and screws
Two timber posts for the base
Two old fenceposts
Hammer and nails suitable for attaching tiles
Dry leaves/grass, bark, moss, fir cones and other recycled materials to fill the hotel.
Step 2: Assembling the frame
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Take three of the five wooden pallets and join them together at the corners. Secure the joints with screws using the electric screwdriver. Make sure the pallets are well secured as they will need to be capable of supporting some weight.
Step 3: Making the roof
The remaining two pallets are used to make the roof. The ends of one pallet should be cut off at an angle, using a hand saw, with all the struts cut at the same angle. The second pallet should then be cut in the same way.
Step 4: Finishing the roof
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The other edge of the pallets should be cut with an overhanging lip, which will hang over the side of the pallet. The angle of the roof should then be tested to make sure it fits securely, a slight adjustment may be necessary to get a perfect join. Don’t secure the roof to the frame yet, though.
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Step 5: Positioning the bug hotel
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The three pallets that form the frame of the hotel should be raised with two old timber posts, and the ground levelled before the old posts are cut to length.
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Step 6: Securing the bug hotel
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The pallets are secured to the ground using old round fence posts, which slip between the struts. Once the posts are far enough into the ground they should be cut level with the pallets. Once the frame is secure, the roof can then be repositioned and attached using screws.
Step 7: Providing habitat for mammals
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The off cuts from the base timber posts can be used to enclose the base, providing habitat for small mammals. The larger gap at the back can be filled with dry straw and leaves to create an area suitable for hedgehogs.
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Step 8: Waterproofing the roof
The roof is made waterproof with terracotta coloured concrete tiles and two recycled ridge tiles. These are nailed to the roof, but ensure the correct nails are used so the tiles don’t split.
Step 9: Filling the bug hotel
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The bug hotel, once secured and with the roof complete can now be filled. A wide variety of materials can be used for this including bark, moss, fir cones, old tree shelters, canes and off cuts of wood with holes drilled along the length. These materials will all provide shelter for a number of invertebrate species.
Step 10: The finished article!
After all the hard work your bug hotel should now be complete and ready for the first occupants to move in!