HOME: How to create a bug hotel

Ever wanted to create your own bug hotel as a spot for hibernating pollinators and garden guests?

This easy DIY is a fantastic project to tackle with the kids – it makes use of items you’ll find in the garden or in local woodland and gets children interested in the microscopic world just outside their back door.  This bug hotel is surprisingly easy to make and gives a point of interest in the garden that the children can inspect throughout the seasons. 

Bees are vital pollinators but a lot of bee species in the UK are solitary so they need a safe space, or an Air bee and bee! Gardeners will also enjoy the benefits of creating a sanctuary for these important pollinators. 
It’s a great way of upcycling old pallets you may have lying around and using natural materials from your own garden.

You will need:

  • Outdoor wood paint (we used 5 Year Ducksback Silver Copse™) – amount will depend on size of hotel
  • 1 x rough sawn wood pallet
  • a hand saw
  • 3 x flat head nails
  • Sandpaper/ flexible sanding pad
  • 2 x 2” paint brush
  • Collection of straw, pine cones, hessian, jute, natural dried grasses, cut bamboo etc.
  • Fine mesh chicken wire
  • 8-10 metal pins
  • Wire clippers
  • Fixing bracket, drill and screws


Step 1:

Saw off the end of the pallet using a hand saw. Lever off one of the planks from the discarded pallet and nail to the back of the cut section creating an open fronted box with 2 long slots.

Step 2:

Lightly sand the pallet then paint with 2 coats of Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback in your favourite colour. Make sure you dust off after sanding with a clean brush. Allow to dry.

Step 3:

Once dry fill each slot with natural materials.

Step 4:

Cut a length of chicken wire to cover the open front and hammer in small staples to keep in place. Trim to size. Fix bracket to the back, hang off a fence and wait for the bugs to set up home in their new bug hotel.

Watch a step-by-step video here.

Author: minervadigi