Innovative Bee Bricks Offer Home to Endangered Pollinators in England’s Brighton and Hove
While we try to keep our homes insect-free, an innovative construction brick created by England-based firm Green&Blue is encouraging us all to co-exist with solitary pollinators
With bee populations highly threatened by habitat loss and climate change, it has become crucial to save these insects that play a major role in pollination and maintaining the ecological balance. A third of the global food production is dependent on bees and other pollinators, however, about one in 10 bee species is facing extinction in Europe.
To counter the problem, England-based firm Green&Blue has created bee bricks to provide habitat to solitary bees, which are particularly under threat, as most bee conservation initiatives focus on honey bees. Bee bricks are unique building blocks with holes of various configurations that will serve as a habitat for these insects.
Before you go on to argue that it’s dangerous having nesting bees in your home, let me clarify that these bricks are designed for non-swarming solitary bees including red masons, leafcutters and other cavity-nesting species that live outside colonies. The firm works on a #GiveNatureAHome principle. It believes that every new house built needs to provide a home for wildlife as well.
Moreover, Brighton & Hove Council has announced that new buildings over five meters tall must include some form of habitat for the endangered pollinators and bird nesting boxes as well. The news comes as a blessing, since the UK is home to about 250 solitary bee species.
Robert Nemeth, the councilor behind the initiative, said;
Bee bricks are just one of quite a number of measures that really should be in place to address biodiversity concerns that have arisen through years of neglect of the natural environment. Increased planting, hedgehog holes, swift boxes and bird feeders are all examples of other cheap and simple ideas that, together, could lead to easy medium-term gains.
Working as both a property developer and a professional beekeeper, Nemeth is optimistic about bee brick benefits, which he believes will outweigh the potential risks.
Green&Blue recreates an existing type of nest popular amongst solitary bees through its bee bricks. It also becomes significant as these insects are losing their natural habitat due to various anthropogenic and climatic impacts.
While many see bee bricks as good news, scientists are divided over their effectiveness in improving biodiversity. Some suggest that these construction blocks could attract mites and aid in disease spread. If we listen to reason, these bricks are but a shallow effort, and far more substantial action is required to conserve the declining species.
Nonetheless, the ingenuity of the enterprise cannot be discarded and this innovative piece of construction block may have some effectiveness to it, after all. Be as it may, the thought behind the project is highly appreciable and current times demand such ideas that take wildlife habitat into account while establishing human settlements.