Insect hotels are structures built by humans to provide shelter for insects. Such structures are needed because natural nesting sites for insects are disappearing. Climate change and urbanization in particular speed up this process, reducing the space available for insects even further.
Insects don’t only buzz and fly but, while doing so, they conduct invaluable work by pollinating plants that provide food for people. So when we sit down at our dining tables, we should be grateful to insects for their work!
If insects can’t find suitable nesting sites, they can’t do their pollination work. As a result, our food choices will soon be void of a wide variety of items, such as apple sauce, broad bean protein foods and blueberry yoghurt.
Luckily insects are happy in artificial, manmade nests called insect hotels. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland has launched a campaign titled Hyönteishotellit2020 (Insect hotels 2020) urging all Finns to become hotel keepers by opening their own insect hotels on their home courtyards, on the roof of their residential buildings, at their summer houses, or in any other place suitable for an insect hotel.
Anyone can become an insect hotel builder and keeper. It’s fun, inexpensive and easy to build your own insect hotel. An insect hotel can be built from everyday materials on hand at home, such as a used milk carton filled with straws or a log of wood with holes in it. The living conditions of pollinators can also be improved by not mowing the lawn.
Go to Instagram to find inspiration, to see hotels built by others, to share your hotel with others, and to learn about the future tenants of your hotel comprising a variety of bees. You can also share your hotel with hashtags #hyönteishotellit2020 and #pelastapörriäinen.
The campaign is part of the UN’s International Year of Plant Health, celebrated on the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to raise awareness of the importance of plant health. The partners of the Ministry in the campaign comprise non-profits and a long list of public sector organizations including the City of Helsinki and Helsinki Zoo.
A video on how to make insect hotels and on the benefits of insect hotels, with soundtrack in Finnish.