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Belgium’s ‘largest insect hotel’ opens in cemetery near Antwerp

16:14 09/07/2022

Offering ‘five-star’ accommodation, Belgium’s ‘largest insect hotel’ opened in the Ruggeveld cemetery in Deurne on Friday, reports VRT.

It’s already attracting a varied clientele, from bees and beetles to woodlice and butterflies. The 11m-long facility offers shelter for numerous insects, who can build their nests in its alcoves that conveniently come in varying sizes.

While the hotel is under its own management, it was built by the city of Antwerp, with nature conservationist Natuurpunt responsible for the furnishings.

"It's actually a 5-star hotel. You have compartments with bamboo, bark, pine cones ... There’s a bit of everything, because all insects have their own preferences. So we hope that our luxury hotel will appeal to them," said Els Van Doesburg, alderman for greenery and animal welfare.

It’s designed to ensure there’s more greenery and flowers in the cemetery and surrounding area thanks to insects playing an important role in the ecosystem. Bees and butterflies pollinate plants and trees and ladybirds attack aphids, while the insects, in turn provide nourishment for birds.

The grass in the cemetery is only mowed twice a year. "That ensures that many insects live in the grass and they ensure the pollination of flowers and plants," said Deurne mayor Tjerk Sekeris. "By placing the hotel here, we will get more flowers and plants in the cemetery and also in the vicinity."

The hotel is the municipality’s second initiative to promote biodiversity. Ladybird larvae were recently used to target aphids in the local street Muggenberglei.

Photo: Stad Antwerpen © Dries Luyten

Written by Sarah Crew