Albert Einstein famously predicted that should bees die out the human race will follow within 4 years. We’ll leave it to the biologists to tell us whether this is really true, but certainly, bee populations are under pressure.
Indiscriminate use of pesticides, along with some other features of modern civilization, have led to these helpful little farmers’ assistants leaving many areas or simply dying off. This isn’t the catastrophe some people claim, but it’s a fact that ecosystems are complex things; severing any link in the chain of life can have major and unexpected results.
You might, in fact, have noticed this happening on a small scale in your own garden. Particularly in urban areas, a lack of pollinating insects often means that your fruiting and flowering plants don’t receive the assistance they need to thrive. The simplest solution here is to make your garden more attractive, and for bees you can do that by installing a bee house.
This is very different from a hive; for starters, you’ll be aiming to attract mainly solitary bee species, not honeybees. Your insect visitors are also not going to be kept as pets: they’re free to come and go as they please, while you needn’t go to any trouble to take care of them. This bee house merely offers a place that simulates spots where bees (and other insects) normally like to hibernate, lay their eggs, and nest.
That’s right: although insects like mason bees can spruce up your garden just by their presence, you may also see more butterflies, ladybirds, and other beneficial species. This, along with its attractive design and solid construction, is what made us choose this particular “insect hotel”. It combines a number of different, natural materials that each appeal to a different kind of bug. Which ones you’ll attract (or catch) obviously depends on where you live.
While this isn’t exactly the time or place for a lecture on entomology, a good starting point is to find a corner in your garden where you’ve noticed particular insects hanging out. Perhaps close to a water feature or a particular flowering shrub, that might be ideal.
Do not, however, expect results overnight or even before it’s been in the same spot for a few months. Insects will eventually move in unless something in the area repels them, but if you expect, as if in a Disney movie, to be instantly swarmed by butterflies, you will be disappointed.