For those who aren’t in the know, the AUBotanic, of the American University of Beirut, hosted a Ladybug Hotel Design Competition in the year 2019, for the purpose of installing ladybug hotels across the campus and consequently support AUB campus’ ecological diversity within a densely concrete urban environment that is Beirut. Now, in the year 2021, AUBotanic installed these bug hotels onto the campus with assistance from entomology expert Dr. Khouzama Knio and ecology instructor Mohammed Zeineddine, both from the biology department.
The bug hotels were scattered in green dense locations across the campus, and the timing of installation was determined to be in mid-summer just before the end of the summer semester. A monitoring system was planned to be conducted by biology students, in order to determine which hotels are more effective and efficient in helping our 6 legged friends. Plans are underway to duplicate some of these designs according to the monitoring results.
Bug hotels are designed to create ideal nesting sites for small creatures, whether to hibernate, lay eggs, or hide from predators. They are often hung on tree branches, set up on stakes, or placed on the ground, and are commonly composed of wood, leaves, gravel, recycled material, tied up sticks, and dead logs. The material composition depends on the insect it is designed for. Hotels might be as small as a jewelry box or as large as a meter high. A Bug Hotel is often constructed with a species in mind, contestants made sure they had a good idea of what animal they were willing to attract, the majority of which chose fuzzy and pretty bugs like ladybugs and wild bees.