Snapshot: Bug-ingham Palace

A closer look at the state's most buzzworthy insect hotel.

This buzzworthy Bristol hotel, tucked behind the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s nature center, serves solo travelers on life’s great journey. Beetles, carpenter bees, butterflies, moths and other solitary insects lay their eggs in its chambers and then die, leaving their larvae to overwinter in a safe place and hatch in the spring.


Photography by Meaghan Susi.

“I think it’s beautiful,” says Audubon senior director of education Lauren Parmelee of the habitat, which was designed by landscape architect John Gwynne and built by Audubon caretaker Barry Cohen out of natural and recycled materials. The space also features bird boxes and a bat box. “It gives [visitors] a topic of conversation and a place to investigate.” Bug-ingham Palace might offer the royal treatment, but Parmelee adds, “You don’t have to do anything fancy.” All pollinators need are some native flora, water and leaf matter, and they’ll feel right at home in your backyard, too.