There’s bees in them houses

Back in August 2017 an email dropped into our mailbox inviting us to an open day at a local nature reserve. Ian Barrie, the chair of the Friends of Eardington Nature Reserve (FNER) had seen our stall at Bridgnorth Handmade Market and was suitably impressed enough with our handmade bee hotels and bug houses that he wanted to offer the invitation. We gladly accepted and added it to our growing list of events.

Ian was in the process of applying for funding to create a solitary bee village at the reserve and, as well as attending the open day, he asked us if we could build 12 bee hotels to add to the mix. We’d only starting building bug houses a couple of months earlier and were dead chuffed to be asked to be part of the creation of an actual bee village!

A few weeks later, the funding was in place and we got to work… under the watchful eye of our little friend.

The bee hotel frames were built from recycled hardwood off-cuts (supplied by Ian) and were filled with blocks of drilled hard wood and bamboo.

We delivered the bee hotels soon after and over the next couple of months, we got regular updates from Ian, and as springtime slowly started to appear we began looking forward to seeing our bee hotels in position.

On June 3, 2018 we turned up at ENR with our stall and travelling bug house building workshop and were absolutely in awe of the work that had taken place to create a vibrant bee village, full of many different species including the Plasterer bee, Ivy Bee, Red Mason bee and Ashley Mining bee

There were mounds created specifically for burrowing bees, bee posts, recycled washing machine drums, and our very own bee hotels – each one sitting, pride of place, on their own fence post.

It was brilliant to see that many of them were being used by the solitary bees at the reserve. You can tell when you have Red Mason bees nesting in your bee hotel when the holes are sealed with mud.

The female bee packs pollen (and a little nectar) into cells and lays an egg on top of this food pile. She then creates a mud wall to seal the chamber and moves on to the next one until the whole tube is full and, as you can see from the pictures, the bees at the reserve have been busy!

This was enough to make our day at ENR a brilliant one… but as the day went on, things just kept getting better.

Workshop

It was great to have conversations with people who were really interested (and very knowledgeable) about wildlife in general and specifically solitary bees. And it was particularly pleasing to see the amount of children who wanted to learn more.

This was the second workshop that we’d run (you can read about the first one here ) and it was brilliant to see everyone getting involved in building bug houses to take home, and some to leave to create ENR’s very own community bug hotel.

 

 

Everyone was having such a good time, we couldn’t help but add our own little creations too…

If you’d like us to come along and run a workshop at your event, please get in touch – we’d love to share our knowledge and encourage more people to learn about the wonderful world of bugs.

Summertime Gift Market

Following the success of our Springtime Gift Market we’re doing it all again.

Despite the best efforts of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma our event in March this year proved to be a big hit with shoppers and traders alike. So much so that many of the stall holders are coming back at the end of July – hopefully without the snow this time!

There’ll be a good selection stalls (indoors and outside) – offering a bit of something for everyone. And because we’re hosting the event at The Claregate Pub, you can also grab yourself a drink and bite to eat in-between browsing the stalls.

It’s not just about buying stuff though – we’ve got the fabulous Greyhound Trust coming along with some of the hounds. The RSPB will be there too with their interactive stand, consisting of giant bug hotels, hedgehog homes and wildlife magazines for children and their families.

Here’s a taste of who is coming:

If Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland are your thing, you’ve got to come and say hello to Tommy’s Treasures and have a look at their official Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland merchandise.

 

 

Misgraceful Jewels and Scarves will be us joining with her beautiful fashion jewellery and scarves…perfect for gifts or just to treat yourself.

 

If you’re looking for something a bit different for your children’s party, come and say hello to Peggy’s Party Boxes.

 

Come and grab some pick ‘n mix from Jadez Jems and see what other goodies they have on offer too.

All About Accessories will also be joining us with their fashion handbags.

 

The extremely talented Animal sketches and portraits will be here again. Available for personalsed commissions he’ll also have a a selection of prints for sale.

 

Scented Harmony – Gorgeous ‘smellies’ including bath bombs, handmade soaps, oil burners, melts and granules.

 

Come and find out more about the RSPB and get involved in some of the activities at their interactive stand, consisting of giant bug hotels, hedgehog homes and wildlife magazines for children and their families.

 

Say hello to the hounds and find out more about the fantastic work the Greyhound Trust does.

 

Dream Dayz will be outside showing off their chainsaw carved fairy houses, owls and toadstools.

…and we’ll be there too (obviously) with Homes for Bugs – Handmade bee, butterfly and ladybird houses and our fairy doors and accessories.
Handmade bug houses, garden signs and fairy garden accessories
Our handmade bug houses come in all shapes and sizes and offer solitary bees, ladybirds, lacewings and butterflies somewhere safe to rest, nest and shelter.
Our handmade fairy doors, tables and chairs are perfect for any fairy garden.
Our new range of butterfly houses are proving to be pretty popular.
Come and say hello, we’d love to see you.
As you can see, we’ve got a great selection of stalls lined up and we hope you’ll come along and enjoy a lovely afternoon with us.
Please like and share the event of Facebook by clicking here to help spread the word.
Looking forward to seeing you there hopefully.

 

Watch out, fairies about!

Our handmade insect houses are going from strength to strength as our reputation for building unique homes from reclaimed wood grows. But, as any growing business knows, you need to diversify and continue to add new ideas to appeal to different audiences.

A friend of ours has a huge talent when it comes to creating  gorgeous handmade fairy doors. We’ve added a few of these to our bug houses which have proved really popular with all ages.

The interest that our fairy door bug houses have generated sparked Tracy, my wife, to indulge her love of all things fairy by trying her hand at making essential accessories that no self-respecting fairy should be without.

As I was building Christmas bug house orders in the December sunshine, Tracy was perfecting the art of making tiny fairy bikes, stepping stones and the cutest table and toadstool themed chairs. She used to make her own jewellery and has always been really creative so it was no surprise that she perfected the art in no time… but that’s not to say that I wasn’t massively impressed by what she’d created.

It’s not just me that’s impressed either. We took the newly made fairy stepping stones, tables, chairs and bikes to a Christmas event at Northycote Farm in Wolverhampton on 3 December… and they went down a storm! And since sharing the pictures on social media, we’ve been inundated with orders from people wanting to treat their fairies to some handmade goodies.

Recycling wood to build handmade bug houses for beneficial insects will always be at the core of what we do, but now that we’re moving into the world of fairies who knows what will be next on the agenda. Watch this space to find out.

Our online shop will be coming soon, but in the meantime please get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about ordering your handmade fairy garden essentials, or one of our individually designed bug houses.

 

 

 

Bug houses come in all shapes and sizes

 

We’ve been working hard over the summer, rescuing wood and using it to build handmade bug houses that cater for all tastes.

Our ‘ugly’ range have proved really popular with gardeners and allotment owners who want practical bug houses where bees, ladybirds and lacewings will nest. Although some of the wood used in building these insect houses is rotting in parts, the frames are solid – and provide good, essential shelter for the nesting insects.

Not ugly, but certainly not for the faint-hearted, our scary range of bug houses have caused quite a stir over the last few weeks. The coffins are packed with pine cones, twigs and leaf litter and make the perfect place for ladybirds to spend the winter. Our haunted houses are strictly for bugs only – full of holes for solitary bees to nest in and loads of nooks and crannies that offer other beneficial insects plenty of safe places to rest, nest and shelter in.

One of our most popular ranges is the good old Tudor style bug house, with many people buying them as birthday and Father’s Day presents, house warming gifts and, more recently, the more organised have been buying them as Christmas presents.

Neck and neck with the Tudors is our Balamory style range of bee and ladybird houses. Especially popular with children, we’ve designed and built various different styles – all of which have gone down a storm with our customers (and the odd gnome or two).

And our latest addition of handmade bug houses are already proving to be really popular with all ages. Our fairy bug houses make the perfect home for beneficial insects such as solitary bees and ladybirds – not forgetting your garden fairies.

We’ve had loads of fun over the last few months and are looking forward to seeing our handmade bug houses find plenty more new homes very soon. We’ll be at a number of craft fairs and markets showing off our designs between now and Christmas and we’d love to see you. Take a look at our online calendar to find out where we’ll be, and come say hello.

We’ve also started taking orders for Christmas so if you’d like a custom-made bug house, please get in touch for a chat. We only use reclaimed wood to build our insect houses so it’s guaranteed that no two are ever the same – meaning that you (and your bugs) will be receiving a totally unique, one-of-a-kind home.

To have a chat, or to order your very own handmade bug house please email me at steve@homesforbugs.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Before you go, come and have a look at our ‘About Us‘ page to find why Homes for Bugs was born.

 

You’ve inspired us

We love rescuing wood and making lovely new bug houses out of it. Over the last few months we’ve been making and selling loads of different designs at craft fairs and markets right across the Midlands and have just secured a regular spot at Bridgnorth Sunday Handmade market.

It’s really great that people like what we do, and the feedback we get about our handmade bug houses is always really positive. But we’re not just about making and selling.

A short while ago we were invited to get involved in a community day at a local allotment where we hosted a really successful bug house making workshop (you can read all about it here).

During the day we met loads of lovely people but one family in particular have kept in touch with us since the open day – sharing their brilliant bug house creations that were inspired by our workshop.

As you can see from the fab photos below, Tabitha and Harriet have been having a great time making some fantastic new homes for the bugs in their garden.

These brilliant photos were sent to us by Charley, Tabitha and Harriet’s mum and when we asked why they were so interested she said:

“The kids love making them and I can see that our garden is going to be full of them!

“We are building them because we love bugs and nature and we love and respect all animals. I think it’s really important for children to grow up respecting other people and animals.

“Hopefully the world will continue to be a diverse place full of different species if we show our children how to live respectfully. We need a future full of caring people who will look after the planet and then teach their children how to do the same.”

And it doesn’t end there. Dad, Pete (Mr Bodger to his students) ran a summer school bug house making workshop of his own and shared the results with us on Twitter. Watch the video below…

It’s brilliant knowing that we’re inspiring others to make homes for the insects in our gardens… long may it continue.

 

If you’ve been busy making your very own homes for bugs, we’d love see what you’ve been up to. Come and say hello on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share your pictures with us.