Developed by Green&Blue, a UK-based company with a passion for designing stylish products that help wildlife, the Bee Brick™ is an exciting nature-conscious innovation in the realm of building. The cleverly designed cement brick has small holes on its side that are the perfect size for cavity-nesting bees to make their home. It can be used in constructi­on in place of a traditiona­l brick, alongside bee-friendly planting, to create more habitat possibilit­ies for solitary bees.

Solitary bees are facing a dramatic decline in numbers due to disease, the use of chemicals and habitat loss. Pollinator­s such as honey bees account for one-third of the food we eat and are a vital part of our environmen­t.

The Bee Brick™ can be used in urban spaces and places where there may not be alternativ­e nesting sites for bees, either built into a wall or building or simply stood alone in a garden. Solitary bees are harmless and will not sting you unless you handle them roughly; even then their stings are not painful.

This year the Brighton & Hove Council in England passed a planning condition that all new buildings over five metres tall must include Bee Bricks™ in their constructi­on. While some in the scientific community have questioned the

design, saying the bricks could provide a home for mites, others are more optimistic and believe they are an unequivoca­lly positive move.

Over the next few years, Brighton will provide an interestin­g case study on the effectiven­ess of the bricks as a tool in aiding the bee population.

Depending on the outcome, we may all have Bee Bricks™ in our homes in the future. greenandbl­ue.co.uk

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