France opens its first insect hotel

Different habitats have been set up in the boxes, giving about 300 separate living quarters for flying insects such as butterflies and bees but also for beetles and bats

A giant ‘insect hotel’ has been set up on the side of a new office for environmental groups in Dijon.

The giant six-metre tall wood and clay structure has more than 60 wooden boxes lined with staves, drilled logs and clay panels to shelter pollinators like bees, butterflies and beetles.

It is set in an eco-quarter. Architect Pierre-Arnaud Marin, of Atelier CALC, said: “This is the perfect site: there are no cars and no pollution.

“We wanted a strong symbol and had planned to put bee hives on the roof but they would not be visible so we thought of this instead.”

However, it will be two years before the insects move in as the eco-quarter is still being built.

Other tenants include Alterre Bourgogne and Réserves Naturelles de France. The latter will carry out scientific work and teaching to schools as the boxes can be accessed from inside the offices.

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