We love all insects here at Revive a Bee so we wanted to make a list of some of the best bug hotels to bring your garden to life and help a wide variety of bugs and insects find their new homes.
A bug hotel is a predominantly wooden structure that acts as a residence for various insects including:
- Solitary bees
- Solitary wasps
While each of these insects uses a bug hotel in very different ways, they can all benefit from the shelter created by these marvellous structures. They act as a hub of activity as residents buzz around the local area foraging for nectar and pollen.
First, let’s take a quick look at all the bug hotels included on this list and then take a closer look at which is the best fit for your garden or wild area.
REPEAK Bug Hotel
This small but effective bug hotel is a great option for anyone who wants to help the bees, pollinators and insects in your garden. We love the simple, minimal design and lovely natural green used on the exterior.
The hotel comes with a handy brush that attaches to the hotel for quick easy cleaning and simple management. The overhanging metal roof will keep all your residents dry when the rain arrives and its simple hang hook means you can have this hotel installed in all of 30 seconds!
It’s important to note that this hotel is primarily geared towards solitary bees with a focus on bamboo tubes that are perfect for mason bees.
This bee hotel is very compact but still manages to fit a whopping 60 individual bamboo tubes! The overall measurements including the overhanging roof are 20cm high, 18cm wide and 10cm deep. Each hotel weighs approximately 1.5kg.
Pet Ting Wooden Insect House
Without a doubt, the bargain option on this list Pet Ting has been selling these hotels for nearly 4 years now with a myriad of happy customers (and residents).
This hotel keeps it varied when it comes to the potential nest sites it provides. There’s a wide range of cavities with varying sizes that make it suitable for insects of all shapes and sizes.
The Pet Ting bug hotel is made exclusively from wood so you may want to add a few layers of varnish to ensure it isn’t affected by rot as time passes.
This is a fantastic option for someone looking for a hotel on a budget but just be aware that you will need to treat the wood on this hotel to ensure it lasts the distance.
LA JONAE Bug House
This model sports a natural wood look with a metal roof to help protect against rainfall. It’s constructed from a mixture of pine and bamboo so it’s an all-natural construction but just like the hotel above may benefit from some treatment to extend its use.
We love that this one comes with some spare bamboo tubes! You’ll find that over time some of your bamboo tubes can become completely blocked and unusable by potential insects. In these cases, you can simply swap out the old tube for a new one making this a ‘modular’ bug hotel!
This charming inset hotel is 16cm x 16cm x 12cm and only weighs approx 1kg.
CKB LTD Bug Hotel
In terms of appearance, the CKB LTD Bug Hotel might just take the crown, this stunning hotel utilises wood bark on the exterior of the structure to really represent its connection to nature.
It utilises a range of woods for its construction including Firwood/Pine Wood, Bamboo and Pine Cones with a simple hanging hook at the rear of the unit for super speedy installation.
Grafix Jack’s – Paint Your Own Bugs Hotel
This is a perfect option if you want to get your kids involved and start to learn about the amazing world that inhabits your garden!
This hotel does require you to build it so if you’re looking to simply buy, install and forget this definitely isn’t the option for you. The hotel comes with 9 wood pieces, 26 wood pegs and bamboo tubes for the interior of the hotel.
Better yet the kit even includes a paint set so you’re all set to start getting creative as soon as it arrives at your door. Perfect for grandparents looking to enjoy time in the garden with grandkids or as educational projects for after-school clubs or community centres.
While this is a fantastic option to get kids involved this hotel really falls down on the build quality, the wood is quite flimsy and won’t last as long as the other more practical bug hotels on this list.
Navaris XL Wooden Insect Hotel
The latest unit on this list the XXL wooden Navaris insct hotel has plenty of room for a vast array of bees and other insects.
This hotel is perfect for all sorts of insects including butterflies, mason bees, lacewings and many other insects and pollinators. It sports an overhanging metal roof to give it protection from the elements and metal meeting to ensure no unwanted visitors can reach the insects within.
The hotel comes in at 23cm x 40cm x 7 cm so just make sure you have enough wall space and clearance to install this larger hotel.
Free Standing Bug Hotel
Last but by no mean least this free-standing bug hotel utilises a large rod you can drive into the ground to attach your bug hotel on to.
The hotel itself is 1m high with the spike providing the 1m clearance required to avoid predators. It’s important to note that you will need a suitable grass or soil area to drive your spike into. Try to find ground that doesn’t become waterlogged because it will affect the rigidity of the installation of the spikes.
Do bugs actually use bug hotels?
Yes, bug hotels are used by a wide variety of insects or gardens in your wild space. Some residents will only stay for a short time while others will use a bug hotel to hibernate over winter and raise the next generation staying for several years.
Where’s the best place to put a bug hotel?
Most insects will prefer a warmer nest so try to place your bug hotel facing south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern hemisphere. Try to install your bug hotel at least 1m from the floor to avoid potential predators at ground level.
How do you attract bugs to your bug hotel?
You don’t need to do anything to attract bugs to your bug hotel. The wide variety of small cavities is a natural lure for insects looking for shelter. Avoid leaving sweet substances out to attract bugs, they can be harmful to bees and may attract an unwanted ant colony to the hotel.
Do bug hotels attract rats?
If you install your bug hotel at least 1m above the ground you should avoid attracting any close-by rats. If you feed the birds regularly avoid leaving lots of seeds or bird food on the ground which is a perfectly suitable meal for rats.
What’s the difference between a bug hotel and a bee hive?
Bug hotels are passive, once their installed you don’t need to do anything else other than occasional cleaning. Bee hives house honeybees and require regular management and maintenance to ensure the bees continued health. If you’re considering keeping bees check out our guide on starting beekeeping to find out more about this fantastic hobby.