Hibernate in the garden

Help the ecosystem in your garden get through the year.

Do you also love the birds and the activity of insects in your garden?

Despite the fact that it sometimes does not always feel that way in terms of temperature, we are currently already in the middle of autumn and that means that it is a good time to prepare your garden for winter.


Prepare your garden to support the overwintering of – for example – butterflies, bees and small birds with hiding places and extra nutrition.

How do butterflies hibernate?

Most butterflies in the Netherlands spend the winter as an egg, caterpillar or pupa. However, there are a number of butterfly species that spend the winter as an adult butterfly. These butterflies go into hibernation when it starts to get colder in the months of September and October. Butterfly boxes When these butterflies go to rest, they look for sheltered places. A butterfly box helps butterflies find a safe hiding place. Because, in addition to the fact that butterflies form an important link in the ecosystem by pollinating plants, they also serve as a food source for animals higher up the chain.

Butterflies that go into hibernation – in our own country – are the day peacock, the chopped aurelia, the lemon butterfly and the little fox. When spring arrives and the spring sun appears, these butterflies will show themselves first again.

Foto dagpauwoog
Day peacock | Unsplash: Anne Nygård

How do insects such as bees and ladybugs hibernate?

Insect hotels are likely being inhabited in spring and summer, but an insect hotel is also useful in winter. There are insects that would prefer to use the hotel all year round. The lacewing is an example of this. Ladybugs, on the other hand, like to use a safe shelter in the winter.

Five-star hotels

Some more elaborate insect hotels also have room for the mason bee. This bee also likes to hibernate here and then lays her eggs here. It is, therefore, better to leave an insect hotel hanging in the winter in order not to expel the bugs from their nest prematurely.

Insecten hotel Elba CJ Wildlife
Insect hotel Elba | Suitable for solitary and mason bees, ladybugs and lacewings.

How do birds hibernate?

Birds can use extra energy well when it gets colder. By offering food with a high fat content, you help birds maintain their body temperature, among other things. Fat balls and peanuts are suitable products for this. Birds are smart eaters. They stop eating when they have had enough. This means that you can – and may – also feed when it gets less cold. If you choose peanuts, feed them preferably in a peanut silo or feeder to prevent food stress from causing a choking hazard in smaller or younger birds.

Which Birds Eat Peanuts? 

Peanuts are the preferred food for the blue tit, great tit, keep, goldfinch, crested tit, greenfinch and even the great spotted woodpecker.

Nesting boxes

Garden birds spend the winter outside. Providing shelter in the form of a nesting box can help to huddle together and find shelter. In winter, birds prefer to sleep without nesting material. Do you still have birdhouses hanging from the breeding season? Then empty them and clean them with (boiling) hot water so that all residues and bugs are removed. This way you have immediately prepared the house for next year!

The fat balls are created with high quality ingredients to provide some extra energy. There are also sunflowerseeds and insects added as an extra treat. Make sure to place the balls in a birdfeeder so the bigger birds wont take them away.

Fat balls
These Premium peanuts are very nutritious due to their high protein and fat content. The peanuts are free of substances that can be harmful to birds and can be fed all year round. These peanuts are eaten by almost all bird species. Make sure you offer the peanuts in a peanut feeder so that the birds first have to peck them in small pieces. This is because young birds can choke on a whole peanut.

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