Bug me, what nice lodgings

Bug me, what nice lodgings

Smart Farmer News
WELCOME: While not allowed to have human visitors, Ross and Gemma Pride have invited some insects and birds to try their hospitality.

WELCOME: While not allowed to have human visitors, Ross and Gemma Pride have invited some insects and birds to try their hospitality.

Aa

In his law-abiding household Ross and Gemma Pride have taken themselves, like, over the horizon. They haven't breathed on anyone, or let themselves be sneezed upon, since way back when football used to be a popular spectator sport.

Aa

Socially distanced? I'll say.

In this law-abiding household we've taken ourselves, like, over the horizon. We haven't breathed on anyone, or let ourselves be sneezed upon, since way back when football used to be a popular spectator sport.

Around here not an outsider's cheek has been pecked, not a hand has been shaken, in all those months since toilet paper was last readily available. Ah, such memories.

But without company, locked down and sitting on a hill in the bush, life's occasionally a bit quiet. We have therefore embarked on a program of encouraging non-human visitors.

The garden has always provided rich pickings for George the wallaby, so he's not getting any further encouragement, but in a moment of weakness I have allowed dear wife to talk me into making an insect hotel. A what?

You would never think providing accommodation for bugs was the role of humans, but according to entomologists - professional bug fanciers - almost two-thirds of flowering plants need insects for pollination, and the bugs need somewhere to live.

Anyway, a quick search revealed a weird world of elaborate constructions made with bamboo sticks, holes drilled into wood, old bits of hose, straw, seed pods, coir matting, wool, miniature vases - junk, basically, all squeezed into a box.

They feature lots of cylindrical spaces, a bit tighter than your finger and at least 15cm deep.

You sit your particular Horsefly Hilton on a pole or mount it in a tree, and wait for guests. It can be a place to call home for, amongst others, the native stingless bees and wasps that are pretty much loners.

They use the spaces, out of sight from predators and protected from the elements, to hatch baby bees and wasps.

Inspired by our new Mosquito Marriott, and obviously with too much time on my hands, I have also set up bird nesting boxes in a few gum trees.

Any new inhabitants there can look forward to plenty of take-away meals from a nice place nearby.

Mind you, so far The Insectontinental is untenanted.

Perhaps, because it's new, word hasn't spread, although there was a fly on it yesterday. Are insects allowed to have house parties?

Aa

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