“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my  teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues. http://nurturing-nature.co.uk  Thank you” George Pilkington

Don’t have a use for those old pallets knocking around your allotment site? Want to encourage pollinating insects onto your site to pollinate your strawberries and other crops? Then have a look at my suggestions and make old pallets useful.

Recycle your old pallets into a really useful pollinating insect lodge

Drill holes in the wooden blocks that hold your pallet together. Stuff straw, dried grass, rubble, old bamboo canes, dead angelica stems, and other such items.

Old pallets make an ideal insect lodge for pollinators and other insect

School children from Banks Road and Holy Trinity, Garston, Liverpool, (collectively known as Little Dibbers!) helped me to make this. They enjoyed the freedom of collecting what they thought would be used by pollinating insects, insects and other wildlife. They enjoyed even more drilling holes for pollinating insects in the square blocks! Note the sunflower seed head, which was used by numerous bird species, particularly greenfinches.

Inside the insect lodge with ample room to add materials to create nooks and crannies

A wren regularly visited the insect lodge where earthworms, woodlice, small snails, small slugs and earwigs, were all on its menu!

Insect lodge was adapted to carry soil and sown with wild flower seeds

I see many such insect lodges and most of them do not make use of the top. Here we layer plastic sheeting on the top, nailed it down, collected poor quality soil, made some walls from scrape pieces of timber, reused an old silver birch log and sown it with wild flowers. This attracted both bumblebees and numerous solitary bees which the children could easily observe.

Insect lodge, also used by wood mice!

The bindweed you see to the left was allowed to grow and cover the insect lodge. When it flowered it attracted numerous pollinating insects, as did the poached eggs plants, sown, grown and planted by the school children.

Insect lodge with old pallets- I think someone get stuck!

 

Insect lodge using pallets ‘n’ poppies!

For more information and to help save bumblebees join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust  at Stirling University.

I am available to give talks about organic gardening, bumblebees, solitary bees and more.
Contact me for prices.
george.pilkington@ntlworld.com             or telephone 01925 452819 and leave your details. Highly likely I will be out nature watching or teaching!

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Meadow Project May 28, 2012 at 7:12 am

Absolute genius! Looks great with the planting on top and Silver Birch edges. I’ve had a few pallets hanging around for ages and keep meaning to use them to make a compost bin, but the insect hotel and garden is much easier to do. Thanks

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nurturingnature May 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for that. I would make the top deeper next time to hold more soil and therefore more moisture. Cheers George

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Russ May 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

Great article and nice way to use up those old pallets.
You can actually make them look visually “nice” and we are huge fans of bees, there are FAR too few of them these days!!!

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nurturingnature May 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Many thanks. If I lived near you I would visit your garden, they look stunning! You say you like bees….have you seen my later solitary bee nest box currently used by red mason bees…..on web site now fighting video…..available in June. Cheers George

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Amanda June 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm

George, this is brilliant – I tweeted it a while ago on twitter. This is a nice ‘bug house’ to construct with the help of children/school groups etc, and to encourage them to think about the different types of nest requirements for a variety of species. Great opportunity for children to observe.

I like the way you have planted the top – a fab idea. I have also felt it must be possible to use old pallets to create an “insect habitat fence” 🙂

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nurturingnature June 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Now Amanda, that IS a great idea…insect habitat fence…like it! Will have a think about that! Cheers George

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