Bee Bricks are buzzing and are becoming a new building mandate in the City of Brighton and Hove in the UK. Bee Bricks are building blocks with little cavities to encourage solitary species of bees to nest in them. In nature, solitary bees are pollinators who do not produce honey and comprise 90% of all bees. Some of these species of bees nest in old bricks which is how Bee Bricks came to be. Bee Bricks are an eco-friendly construction material (made from concrete using up to 75% of recycled material from the Cornish china clay industry) and are similar in appearance to a block of Swiss cheese. Naturalists and Bee Brick creators Kate and Gavin Christman co-founded Green & Blue after years of working for Dyson and designing in their spare time. “Design the way nature intended” is their guiding principal. Working from a garden shed for a few years, the couple followed their passion for designing beautiful, stylish products that help wildlife. Green & Blue also manufactures a range of modernized bat and bird houses. The Christmans are passionate about having every new home built today, to include a home for some type of wildlife.
We all know that bees play a key roll in pollination and are in danger. Did you know that one out of every three bites of food that we eat requires a pollinator? There are over 16,000 species of bees. They are found in every continent except Antarctica. We definitely need to keep them buzzing to provide their essential pollination skills. The use of Bee Bricks can only be seen as a positive step in saving our precious bees. Nay sayers feel that these bricks are flawed, pointing to the fact that the holes are so small and can lead to harmful mites nesting in them. In contrast, studies have shown that solitary bees build nests inside holes and close off the entry way for hibernation, thus preventing any unwanted intruders. Clearly Bee Bricks, used in place of a standard brick, are a simple way to welcome bees into our human habitat and help our declining endangered bee population.
By Mary Ellen