Build an insect hotel

Even the smallest of gardens or outdoor spaces can be enhanced by the addition of a bug hotel. These useful habitats provide a place for some insects, like solitary bees, to nest in the spring. For other insects, like ladybirds, they provide a cosy place to spend the winter months.

This activity combines so many skills and is good fun to do – especially if you’re looking for something that you can achieve as a team (adults and children together). Don’t worry if you don’t have all the resources for the ‘deluxe’ hotel, simply give the low resource ‘express’ option a try – there will be enough insect customers for all establishments!

Express Insect Hotel

What you will need:

  • Hollow plant stems, such as bamboo canes
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Strings

How to make your express insect hotel:

  1. Collect handfuls of stems, twigs and sticks from the ground – make sure to leave plenty behind for the wildlife.
  2. Tie the bundles of stems, twigs and sticks in two places.
  3. Push them into a bush, or hang them in a sheltered place.
  4. Get ready to welcome your insect guests!

Deluxe insect hotel

What you will need:

  • Small logs or untreated timber (at least 10cm long)
  • Hollow plant stems, like bamboo canes
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Woodsaw
  • Nails and hammer or screwdriver and wood screws
  • Drill and 5mm wood bit
  • Wire

How to make your deluxe insect hotel:

  1. Make a wooden frame, fixing the wood with screws or nails.
  2. Fill the frame with stems, twigs and sticks.
  3. If you’re feeling artistic, use pens or paints to decorate your frame.
  4. Fix a wire loop to the back of the frame and hang somewhere sheltered.
  5. Your insect hotel is open for business!


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Time to complete

1-2 hours

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Sciences (Ecology, biology, natural history, planet Earth topic)

Technologies (Craft and design)

Social Studies (People, place, and environment)

Numeracy and mathematics (Number and measure, shape position and movement)

Expressive Arts (Art and design)



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