It has been said that mankind will not survive the honeybee’s disappearance for more than five years, hence the reliance on our amazing insect community.
About a third of our food supply depends on pollination. Bees are essential for the production of fruits and vegetables, and with their decline this is negatively impacting our food chain.
Therefore, it is highly important to help maintain the lifecycle of our garden pollinators with a selection of nectar loving flowers and safe havens for them to reside.
Women Talking online magazine has been enjoying the ongoing challenge of maintaining a garden bug hotel and inviting the local insects to settle in! This has been developing over time and the original wall fixed hotel has now developed further, with a lower ground floor area and now a raised vegetable bed to invite further insect locals and pollinators to the area.
This has been an interesting project, which can be as large or small as you wish. There are plenty of ideas online to assist with your garden project and a great way to learn more about the vast selection of insects living and working outdoors.
At any given time, your garden might contain over 2,000 species of insects. Some of these are pests, the kind you don’t particularly want in your garden because they can destroy your flowers and vegetables. But many others are beneficial insects, the kind you do want to attract because they work with you to control pests and pollinate the flowers.
What are the benefits of insects in your garden?
The beneficial insects support biodiversity, the foundation for the world’s ecological balance. An insect hotel in your garden will attract these beneficial insects, offering them space where they can propagate and hunker down for the winter. Encouraging biodiversity in the garden helps to increase ecosystem productivity.
Placing an insect hotel in the garden increases the chances that the beneficial insects will naturally visit your garden. These man-made structures are also known as bug hotels, bug boxes, or bug houses.
In addition to their decorative qualities, of which you can personalise to your chosen area, they will also help to supplement the increasing loss of natural habitats.
Natural Pest Control
Welcoming beneficial insects and pollinators into your garden reduces or eliminates the need for pesticides. Poison kills weeds and pesky insects, but poison is not selective: it kills beneficial insects as well.
According to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, three-quarters of the world’s flowering plants and roughly 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce, with more than 3,500 species of native bees helping to increase crop yields. By some estimates, one out of every three bites of food we consume depends on animal pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths, birds, bats, beetles, and other insects.