Encouraging Beneficial Insects

Having put up a few bird boxes and some bird feeders, I thought I should really try and provide some support for the invertebrates at the plot. After all, many of the insects and other minibeasts on the plot are a secret army of helpers; keeping many pests under control by gobbling them up, and pollinating crops.

Growing some flowering plants will encourage hoverflies and bees, but as it’s early in the year there aren’t too many flowers that bloom in January. So in order to help your plot’s invertebrates, we’ll have to start at home. Everyone needs a comfortable home and minibeasts are no exception. So, given that I had some spare wood off cuts behind the shed I decided to make a bug house to encourage mason bees, lacewing and earwigs to take up residence at the allotment.

A bug box can be any size, so I cut the wood into five sections and used screws to create an open box. For more thorough instructions have a look at this site – which includes step by step photos. Once you have a box, fill it with short pieces of cane (or old sunflower stems as I did), as well as other pieces of old pot and stones. The idea is to create dry and secure places where the invertebrates can take up residence.