The urban pollinating insects of Helsinki will soon have more to choose from in terms of accommodation, nesting and spending the winter as the City is launching a collection of insect hotels. Artificial insect nests, designed specifically for Helsinki, will be placed in green areas, public gardens and parks in the City.
The guests of insect hotels will include, for example, solitary bees suffering from a lack of suitable habitats in cities. Insects work hard for the diversity of urban nature: bees are important pollinators, and solitary wasps and Spheciformes help in pest control, for example.
The first insect hotels in Helsinki will be placed in the new allotment area of Viikinojanpuisto park during the coming summer, as well as on the green roof of the Helsinki Urban Environment House in Kalasatama. The aim is to establish new hotels annually to support the diversity of urban nature.
The idea that the City should set up insect hotels was proposed in a council initiative.
Bug accommodation in different environments
The City of Helsinki’s insect hotel collection includes three types of models designed for the urban environment:
The Bug Block (Hyönteiskortteli) is ideal for urban environments, such as parks and schoolyards and the yards of day care centres and other public buildings.
Buzzer Towers (Pörriäistornit) can be used both on their own and placed close to each other in a group formation in a park, near a seashore route, in a yard or on a green roof.
The Bug Hut (Ötökkätorppa) is designed for natural park areas and allotments.
The collection is designed by Sitowise. Each insect hotel is unique, because they are made by hand at the Stara workshop.
The hotels have a wooden or steel frame with removable wooden boxes. The interiors have been designed by using e.g., various pieces of hardwood with holes of different sizes and depths drilled through and hollow straws of common reeds and cow parsley.
The facade is covered with a metal mesh to prevent birds from accessing the nests. The Bug Block and the Bug Hut also feature green roofs.
Structural images of the insect hotel collection can be found on the Urban space instructions website (in Finnish).
The insect hotel collection will be displayed in the spring of 2022 in the lobby of the Helsinki Urban Environment House at Työpajankatu 8 (open Mon–Fri 8.00–16.00).
Image: The first Bug Hut will be located in
Viikinojanpuisto park. © City of Helsinki and Sitowise