How to build an insect hotel yourself

Build the insect hotel yourself

The Hotel – How to build an insect hotel

Not only in the wild, but especially in gardens, the many useful insects help to maintain the ecological balance. Because they often feed on pests or their larvae, others in turn pollinate the flowers of the useful plants and do so even when honeybees do not fly due to low temperatures.

They are also interesting to watch, and their humming and humming is simply part of a summer for many nature lovers. How can you best help bumblebees, wild bees, hatching, wrinkle, digger and wasps, lacewings or earwigs in the garden or on the balcony? Of course, an appropriate environment is part of it, for example a garden that houses (native) flowers over a long period of time and is non-toxic.

In addition, it can also serve a good purpose, because here there are many different types of egg-laying possibilities and are very easy to observe.

Insect hotels from hardware stores or discounters are often useless

In the example on the right, no insect will feel comfortable! Straw (kinked and crumpled), pine cones and leaves, pieces of bark and wood, building blocks and bricks with holes that are much too large
Nesting aids for insects are in demand like never before. Unfortunately, however, the majority of the so-called insect hotels are more decorative than species-appropriate and are therefore hardly accepted by the desired residents. There are only a few, but important rules to consider when buying or building an insect nesting aid

Today, insect hotels are offered in every hardware store, garden center or at discounters and on the Internet. These are often provided with straw, spruce cones, wood wool, chopped wood and similar cheap fillers and are largely useless as a hiding place or nursery for insects.

Ladybugs, lacewings and others are much better served in the garden with a pile of dead wood or brushwood. Likewise, in almost every model on offer there are more or less large pieces of wood that have openings drilled in the end grain. You can attract certain species among wild bees and solitary wasps. But these holes are almost always frayed or wooden splitters stick into the openings.

Such offers are not accepted because the wild bees would injure their wings. Instead, holes in wood should always be drilled lengthways – i.e. from the bark side – to prevent cracks and the swelling of split pins in the brood ducts. Softwood is unsuitable for this because it tears easily and absorbs water, which causes the brood to die. However, oak, ash or wood from fruit trees, for example, are suitable.

The holes must be absolutely clean and smoothed very carefully. They should have a diameter between 2 and 8 mm. The wider the range of holes, the greater the chances of residents. Important to know: Insect hotels of this kind only offer around 30 of the more than 550 species in Germany a place for brood. Almost three quarters of all nest-building wild bees nest in the sandy soil. With open sand spots or a small “sand box” in the garden, these species can also be easily helped

Wild bee hotels checklist


Well-dried hardwood (oak, ash, beech, fruitwood)
Hollow reed or bamboo stems or similar
Special fired clay bricks
Cardboard tubes
Bee board
No fillers like wood wool or spruce cones!
Market stalks individually at the insect hotel (blackberry, raspberry)
Clean, smooth holes without splinters or other contaminants
Always drill holes in the longitudinal timber
Hollow bamboo stems cut intact and clean
Length 10-15 cm each, always closed at the back; Opening diameter 2 – 9 mm


In a protected place or with a roof against moisture
Sunlit square (facing southeast to southwest
Attach firmly, must not swing in the wind


If necessary, the insects clean used corridors in the insect hotel themselves. So they largely relieve us of the care work.

Nevertheless, you can do minor maintenance at the insect hotel:

Spider webs can be removed
Replace fallen straws
Replace pieces of wood with holes after a few years with new ones to avoid fungal attack
replace weathered blades
Leave in place all year round
No cleaning needed
Observe which diameters are particularly popular and add them if necessary
Think of suitable plants as a “restaurant”

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