How to make a bug hotel

Summertime will bring a number of insects to your garden; building a home for them can be a fun and educational activity to do with friends. Viewing the insects up close can also give you a greater appreciation for nature. It is easy to make and will cost you very little; you will also be giving nature a helping hand by providing the perfect habitat for insects such as spiders, ladybirds, lacewings and bees.

What you will need:

  • Untreated timber
  • Wood saw
  • Nails and hammer
  • Screwdriver and self-tapping screw
  • Hollow canes, twigs, stones, pine cones, small pieces of wood/bark, grass/straw

When to do it: year round.

Time: approximately 2 hours to make.

Step-1Step 1

Make a simple box using scraps of untreated timber approximately 2cm thick. Nail them together, leaving the front end open.

Step-2Step 2

Cut hollow canes into short lengths, collect pine cones, twigs, stones and any other materials you can find in your garden to fit in your bug hotel.

Step-3Step 3

Fit the canes, pine cones, twigs, stones and/or other materials you have collected in your bug box – the different materials will attract different insects. Make sure your materials are tightly packed to avoid them falling out. Adding grass or straw to the box will help to hold them in place.

Step-4Step 4

Drill a hole into the back of your box to make fitting it in place easier.

Step 5Step 5

Find a sheltered spot in your garden, but don’t hide it too well or the insects won’t find it.

Step-6Step 6

Fix the bug box into place using the self-tapping screw.


5.00pm close or dusk if earlier
Last admission to zoo grounds at 4.00pm

Click here for further closing times


upcoming events
August 2022
Sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3