Millipedes and other minibeasts

We went hunting for millipedes and found lots, including some flat millipedes. These look really like centipedes but have 2 pairs of legs for every segment while centipedes would have had only one. We found  other fantastic minibeasts too.  Our favourites were the worms, woodlice, slugs and a really big violet ground beetle.

Making a hotel for minibeasts with the minibeast hotel construction team, the other adults hid behind the tree!

The minibeast hotel construction team, the other adults hid behind the tree!

It needed a real team effort to construct a hotel for minibeasts in an afternoon. We had lots of materials to make the ‘hotel’. All of it needed moved to our construction site so I needed everyone’s muscles to help, especially the pallets. There were lots of opportunities to try out different tools too. Everyone got a chance to cut bamboo with our loppers and add it, then to drill holes in the bigger logs for solitary bees to live in. Any special VIP hedgehog that wants to live in out minibeast hotel will find that not only does it have minibeasts around it to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner but that it has a multi-story suite inside the hotel with lots of places to sleep.

Everyone worked hard with the Garden Ranger to make the minibeasts welcome in the new Hotel

Using the drill, with the help of the garden Ranger was very popular

The last part of our construction was to move a huge holly log onto the top of the pallets to stop them moving. As we started to move it, we discovered that there were loads of ground beetles and millipedes under it. Some of the ‘team’ rolled the log up a small slope to get it to the construction site, while others picked up the minibeasts to give them a chance to be the first guests to stay in our newly completed minibeast hotel.

We added some minibeasts to our new minibeast hotel

Our first minibeast guests for our new minibeast hotel

My next Garden Ranger activities are both new one to the Gardens. I am hoping for a lovely hot July day as there will be lots of water and ice for everyone to investigate in the morning activity our Water Lab. What floats, what sinks? Does ice slide? How do you make a river?

For the second activity I have set a challenge. I will bring lots of things with me and I would like you to make me a boat or raft that will float in my paddling pool. Will it still float if I give you a weight to put on it?

I look forward to seeing you at Castle Kennedy Gardens on the 17th of July and if you like water then why not come along to the Pondipping on the 24th too.

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