Monday, 4 November 2019

Building a Bug B&B at Rushy Common


Families and volunteers gathered this week to help build a bug ‘B&B’ at Rushy Common. Habitats like this are important for overwintering insects such as woodlice, ladybirds, beetles and bees which hibernate in sheltered places. Tree holes, leaf litter, and under logs and rocks are common lodgings for overwintering adult insects.

Pallets were sourced free from a local garden centre, which acted as the frame and structure for the B&B. The pallets were stacked underneath the bird feeders next to the bird hide, and bricks were placed in between to give height to the gaps for materials. 
Building up the first few layers
Volunteers Denis and Chris put their conservation work party skills to good use by sawing up deadwood and trees blown over by recent winds to create logs and branches that were placed in the bug hotel by the children. Families also brought their own branches from their garden, and broken pottery bits to give some colour and solid shelter to the B&B’s gaps. Chris also brought along logs from his garden that already had some holes filled by nesting solitary bees.


Sawing up a fallen tree
Adding branches and logs with solitary bees
Filling the top layers

Moss was gathered from the gravel shore of the lake, to stuff gaps in the logs and branches. Bamboo canes were also cut up and placed between the pallets. As deadwood was collected from the surrounding scrub habitat, unsuspecting worms and woodlice were ‘moved in’ to the hotel as its first residents!

The B&B was finished off with a Lower Windrush Valley Project sign. Visit the Rushy Common bird hide to have a look at our new habitat feature



 Mini bee hotels were also created by the children to take home and put in their gardens. This is a great way of recycling plastic bottles, whilst creating homes for beetles and solitary bees. For more information on how to create a bug B&B, visit the RSPB’s website - https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/kids--schools/teaching-resources/make-a-bee-house.pdf

 
How can you help insects in your garden?

  • Make a bug hotel using bamboo canes – these are easy to make using a plastic bottle, milk carton or pot
  • Plant wildflowers, or spread wildflower seeds for our native pollinators
  • Create a pond – even a small pond made from a washing up bowl can help insects, as a whole new ecosystem is created for them to forage in and drink from
  • Stop using pesticides on your plants – these don’t just cause damage to garden pests, but insects that aren’t the targets such as bees are also affected
  • Keep your garden ‘untidy’ – leaving grass to grow a little longer and allowing flowers such as daisies and dandelions to grow create small stepping stones that pollinators can forage on – and it’s a great excuse for not mowing the lawn

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