Bee Bricks: Tiny Holes Help Tiny Bees
Bee Bricks with tiny holes in various sizes are becoming all the rage in some UK cities.
A design studio named Green&Blue that is based in Cornwall UK has created an innovative and fantastic environmental solution to urban and rural solitary bee housing.
They have developed an award-winning architectural brick with multiple holes so solitary fuzzy bees like red mason bees and leafcutter bees, amongst other non-swarming bees, can set up house in these mini homes. The holes are different sizes, so Mrs. Bee can find a cozy nest to fit her needs in the ‘bee brick.’
The other side of this is how attractive the bricks look in the side of a building or on a garden wall or other exterior wall. They can be seen as a real design element and an environmental statement in a bee-friendly garden, or building.
This 0:14-second video by Green&Blue shows a little solitary bee entering one of the bee brick studio homes:
We always seek clever ‘set and forget’ ideas for our readers so they can do their bit to save the bees. This is one of the easiest and most user-friendly concepts we have seen. This brick concept makes more room for nature in our neighborhoods and communities. It becomes an inclusive part of our buildings and properties, and therefore makes bees part of our lives. One simple set-and-forget act of buying a bee brick and installing it, just once, and we can go about our business while the brick keeps benefiting pollinators long after we may even forget we ever installed it.
Here is a 1:45-minute video by Green&Blue about the bee brick:
The cities of Brighton and Hove have approved these multi-purpose bricks. Their recent planning law requires all new buildings over five meters to include bee bricks and bird nesting boxes that are suitable for swifts. Although many swift bricks are already incorporated into urban developments, the bee brick is quite a new idea.
The Green&Blue bee bricks are solid at the back and are made of reclaimed concrete. These bee bricks are the same size as standard bricks, but have a series of narrow holes like those out in nature where solitary bees nest. These cavities are in various sizes, so bees can lay their eggs in the size they prefer and seal the entrance with chewed-up vegetation and mud to protect the baby bees.
The company designed these stylish nesting bricks mainly to help save the bees. In the UK, solitary bees are responsible for pollinating about 1/3 of the food eaten, and they are a vital part of the ecosystem. They are severely challenged, and their population is in decline due to many hazards like habitat loss, pesticides, disease, climate problems, pathogens, predators, and monocultures.
The bee brick will appeal to many nature lovers, no matter how big or small their garden is, even if their ‘garden’ is a patio or balcony. Solitary bees do not sting unless handled roughly, so they are harmless to you and safe to have close to home even if you have children and pets. Just incorporate a bee block into any wall or position it as a stand-alone feature. It provides the perfect urban nesting site.
To see how attractive and elegant these bee bricks look, check out the images by scrolling down here.
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