Insects are wild about the wild
Three questions about insect hotels for Marie Warming, who is a guide at Naturkraft.
Why do you build insect hotels at Naturkraft?
Insects are generally on the decline – not just in Western Jutland, but also in the rest of Denmark and all over the world. They simply lack places to find food.
There are a few different factors that threaten the insect population:
- Loss of habitat due to intensive farming and urbanisation
- Pollution (particularly the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers)
- Biological factors such as micro-organisms and imported species
- Climate change
Insects are important – partly as food for other animals, but especially because they help pollinate plants.
We not only build insect hotels in Naturkraft to give the insects a good place to live. But it is also a good way for us to talk to our visitors about how to create good conditions for the insects once again.
What else do you do for insects in and around Naturkraft?
You could say that the mere fact that we have transformed a field into a recreational area has improved the insects' living conditions. In and around Naturkraft we have busy planting – both trees and plants – which are good for the insects.
The idea with the insect hotels is to build them together with our visitors before putting them into the open area outside. We will place them alongside the paths. Day after day, the whole area will gradually become a better environment for all the insects.
What can you do at home?
At Naturkraft, we build large insect hotels because we have many visitors who can help us over several weeks. It doesn't have to be on such a big scale if you want to get started at home.
The most important thing is that you do something – even making a small effort is better than doing nothing at all. For example, you could find some branches, a few dry leaves and some string. Tie it together and hang it up – and you've already made a place that insects will love.
You can also let some of the grass grow wild – or let another area of the garden become overgrown. Insects are wild about the wild. It does take a little patience. If you build your own insect hotel, it may take a while before the first insects check in. It only becomes really attractive for them when it has become a bit older and is full of holes and hiding places.