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Biodiversity Garden - Wildlife Shelters

Biodiversity Garden: Wildlife Shelter

In Ireland, there are two types of solitary bee, the mining bees, who dig little holes to shelter in, and cavity nesting bees, who live in any small dry holes they can find, including dead wood, cracks in stone and even the former holes of mining bees. Bug hotels like the one here provide nesting spots for the cavity bees, giving them a place to shelter for the winter and lay their eggs. Mining bees like to dig into exposed patches of earth, usually on south-facing slopes to catch the sun, so if you have a sunny patch or sheltered area at home, why not clear a small spot for the bees, or build your own bug hotel? The “wild pile” in the corner, composed of loose sticks and twigs, provides another, more spacious place to shelter. Various beetles, woodlice and other creepy crawlies take advantage of the tasty decaying material and can attract even bigger creatures, like hedgehogs.

Fun fact: Beetles are the largest group of animals in the world, with over 350,000 different species. For comparison, birds have somewhere between 9,000-10,000 and mammals have a paltry 5,400.