Alle indlæg af Cathrine Dolleris

Insect Hotel Workshop


In the LAND center Byhaven2200, we want to expand the knowledge about diversity and how to achieve it and bring it to the garden. Biodiversity is a key element of sustainable gardening, as it is a passive defense against pests and diseases and a source of beauty.

Building insect hotels is an easy and fun way to provide shelter for invertebrates that might be beneficial for the health of the garden. In addition, they help the survival of species affected by loss of habitat, like for example wild bees.

We developed this project to promote biodiversity and bring the opportunity to preserve unusual species in the city and make people aware of the subject.

The workshop took place in the garden, on the 2nd of August of 2014, from 12:00 to 17:00. It was advertised through a Facebook open event and promoted by Byhaven2200’s profile page in Facebook and mouth to mouth. The whole activity was held in english.

The insect hotel workshop was divided in two parts, theoretical and practical, and was held by Jaime P. Molina, biologist and agronomist with extensive knowledge on insects, and Candela Vargas, biologist as well and experienced in Permaculture practices.

There where 10 participants, 8 of the which were active through both parts of the workshop, while the other 2 participated in the practical but not in the theoretical.

For the construction of the insects hotels we avoided totally the use of manufactured products and used only natural and discarded materials, such as twigs, branches, old pallets, etc., that were upcycled from the garden and brought by the participants.

Theoretical part

For the theoretical part, the participants sat at the table and with the help of some graphic cards made by Candela, Jaime and herself explained the basics about beneficial insects in a garden. Focusing on diets and behaviour.

insect cards

 Cards used for the theoretical exercise showing the beneficial microfauna and habitats.

After these explanations, the participants were asked to match the different groups of beneficial invertebrates with their preferred habitats showed in the cards, and justify their answers. Then they were given more detailed information about it.

The ultimate goal of this part was to make the participants feel empathy with those organisms and understand where will they live and thrive.

The explanation consisted of the following steps:

The way to attract microfauna to a garden is by providing them with a food source and a habitat.

A garden needs invertebrates to cover the functions of pollination which ensures the formation of fruits and berries; and as pest control conducted by predators that will balance out the excess of any harmful invertebrates.

Some organisms of our interests are:


– Bees. Are generalist pollinators, wild bees are endangered, they need flowers.

They are most often lonely burrowers.

– Bumblebees. More specific for some plants. Live in small colonies inside tree trunks.

– Butterflies. Are flower specific, depending of the length of their proboscis and the nectar tubes in the flowers.

– Parasitoid wasps. The adult form of many species feed on pollen and help the pollination of some flowers.

We made special focus on learning how to differentiate between bees and wasps, as well as the different behaviors they have and ecological functions they cover. Common wasps are scavengers while wild bees are pollinators.

Pest control:

– Lady bugs. Very specific predators of aphids. The lady bug larvae eats much more voraciously than the adults.

– Parasitoid wasps. Lay their eggs inside the body of other insects. Many types of wasp, and all are very prey specific. It can be larvae of cabbage fly, aphids and so on.

– Tiger beetles. Very active ground predators, will eat any pest that falls from above.

– Earwig. Omnivores and good ecological regulators, as they can adapt their diet according to most available food source.

– Spiders. Generalist predators will either catch flying pests on their net or hunt them on the ground, depending on the species.

– Amphibians. Generalist predators that can take care of bigger problems like slugs.

Insect workshop copy

Jaime and Anders finishing the last details on the big insect hotel.

Practical part

When people felt comfortable with the knowledge and with most of their questions answered we moved on to the practical part. At this point the participants were excited about the project and willing to get hands on.

We showed some pictures about how insect hotels could look like but still allowing total freedom in the design of the actual ones. Then we sketched the structures we wanted to build for everyone to have a common picture of the building process.

All materials were gathered on and around the working table. It was decided that we had enough material for building three insect hotels, one big and two small. Then we divided into two working teams: one for the major insect hotel and another one for the two small ones.

While some were developing the structure of the different insect hotels others were preparing different habitats, like stuffing straw inside clay tubes, rolling rugs or drilling holes on wood pieces. Afterwards these elements were added into the main structure.

The materials used according to the habitats that we intentionally wanted to create are shown in the following table.

Material Habitat Animals
Canes Holes parasitoid wasps, solitary bees
Cardboard Holes and small cavities Earwigs, others
Clay pipes Humid cavity Amphibians and diverse invertebrates
Clay pots Protected big cavity Bumblebees
Clay shards Cracks and crevices Amphibians and tiger beetles
Flower bed Grassland Solitary bees and tiger beetles
Furniture (rope and metal) Cracks and crevices diverse invertebrates
Pine cones Multitude of cavities diverse invertebrates
Plastic container Pond Amphibians and common water source
Rags Cozy cracks Earwigs, others
Rope Air, climbing structures Spider (web)
Stones Humid soil and dry solid surface Amphibians
Straw and sticks Cracks and insulated cavities Ladybugs hibernation shelter
Wood (lumps and pallets) Holes parasitoid wasps, solitary bees

Table showing the different materials used in the construction to form the different habitats and the animals we expect to host.

The construction was toped up with the placement of signs with the words “insect hotel” on them

to make sure that visitors understood the purpose of the unusual structures.

Outcomes of the activity

The garden features now three insect hotels. That are starting to host a significant amount of inhabitants at the current date (23 Oct. 2014).

The participants expressed their satisfaction about being part of such a project and the knowledge gained. Some of them even mention their interest in installing insect hotels on their own gardens.

insect work

Lotta finalizing one of the small insect hotels

LAND netværket repræsenteret på ”Mere liv i Haven” festival

image001 (2)

Festivalen ”Mere Liv i Haven”, som fandt sted i Fredericia lørdag d. 25. oktober, var en stor success.  Festivalen var organiseret af Praktisk Økologi, som gjorde en stor indsats for at samle 230 have- entusiaster og blandt dem var 47 workshop-holdere.

Land_logo_rentegnetLAND var godt repræsenteret til festivalen med medlemmer fra alle LAND centrene og medlemmer fra de fleste kommende LAND centre. 3 LAND ansvarlige holdt workshops under festivalen: Karoline Nolsø Aaen holdt et værksted om etableringen og design af skovhaver i Danmark. Med afsæt i sin egen skovhave i Permakulturhaven Myrrhis og LAND center på Friland viste Karoline billeder og fortalte om skovhavens mange funktioner, der foruden at være et produktivt økosystem, også er kulstoflagrende, modstandsdygtige og regenererende. Værkstedet var godt besøgt med 51 deltagere, hvoraf flere overvejede at skabe skovhaver derhjemme.

Candela Vargas fortalte generelt om LAND centre til 10 nysgerrige sjæle og gav dem en god liste af steder, som de kunne besøge og lære mere om permakultur.

Den tredje workshop blev holdt af LAND aspirant Aiah Noack. Det handlede om ”perma-grøntsager”. Deltagerne lærte med alle deres sanser om ca. 30 forskellige flerårige spiselig planter som Aiah Noack sælger på Naturplanteskolen ved Hedehusene.

Familie- og fællesskabsstemningen var synlig og mærkbar dagen igennem og alle folk, der var involveret i LAND, havde gode omstændigheder for at skabe et stærkere netværk.

Aktiviteter i Byhaven2200

Land_logo_rentegnetI LAND centret Byhaven2200 fejrer vi lørdag d. 15. november slutning af vores
arbejdsdage i haven. Vi vil lave pizza ovnen færdig og gøre haven klar til vinteren.
Næste gang vi ser hinanden vil være til vores månedlige studiegruppe i Miljøpunkt Nørrebro hver første torsdag om måned kl. 5 med start i december. Der vil være mange forskellige workshops for at udvikle i Byhavens permakultur design og lære hinanden at passe haven, som vi bedst kan. Det er en fantastisk måde at lære haven og hinanden at kende. Planen for vinterens studie grupper er:
– 4/12: Udvikling af Byhavens struktur og organisationen med specielt fokus på Sociokrati.
– 8/1: Natur Bihold. Lad os sammen passe godt på Byhavens bier.
– 5/2: Permakultur Design Introduktion og catch up med Byhavens design.
– 5/3: Udvikle på Byhavens design og sæsonplan.
– 2/4: Biodiversitet i haven og på bord. Nyttige insekter, hjemhørende spiselige arter, osv.

Hvis du er interesseret i disse emner er du meget velkommen til at være med i Byhaven2200. Kontakt os på: og deltag i vores facebook gruppe Byhaven 2200.

studie gruppe
Billedet er fra sidste årets studiegruppe, hvor deltagerne diskuterer og planlægger permakultur design af haven.

Mød permakulturen på “Mere liv i haven festival”

Den 25. oktober afholdes Mere Liv i Haven-festival for andet år. Den landsdækkende festival besøger hvert år en ny by, og i år er festivalen nået til Fredericia. Bag festivalen står Landsforeningen Praktisk Økologi, der ønsker at samle danskere om bæredygtig husholdning og økologisk havedyrkning.

image007.jpg vises Læs videre Mød permakulturen på “Mere liv i haven festival”