Usually, “bugs” and “hotels” are two words you don’t want to hear together. But the current exhibit at Fernbank’s outdoor Nature Gallery, part of their new WildWoods attraction, turns that idea upside down.
This adorable, accessible, and imitable exhibit showcases an important way we can all help support pollinators and other “good bugs” in our own backyards. Bugs need a safe haven, just like every other living creature. So the Fernbank Museum of Natural History invited their local partners to build their own version of a “bug hotel” to help create habitats that provide a place to rest, nest, or hibernate.
Each is designed to roll out the welcome mat to different species of invertebrates, including bees, ladybugs, and cicadas, and some also support vertebrates like frogs and salamanders.
Some, like the one from Woodlands Garden, are simple boxes filled with stacks of pinecones and hollow bamboo stalks. Fernbank’s own contribution was an artful sculpture of a bee, made of moss and other natural objects around a metal frame. The Wylde Center made theirs stand out with colorful cinderblocks. And our favorite name was the “Air Bee & Bee” from the Olmstead Linear Park Alliance.
Constructing your own bug hotel is the perfect family outdoor project! The materials are free, the design is up to you, and the rewards are a more robust and diverse ecosystem, no matter the size of your yard. You might even be lucky enough to attract a woodpecker like the one we saw, surely enjoying a few hotel guests!
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the adorable Pins on Bee Better’s “Bug Bungalow” Pinterest board. If you’re looking for other outdoor projects you can do with your kids, see our Pinterest board on Outdoor Kid Activities.