Bee Bricks are Building a Buzz: Genius, or Worst Idea Ever?

Bees and other pollinators are crucial to food production worldwide. Unfortunately, bee populations are rapidly declining as a result of pollution, disease, climate change, and pesticides. 

Naturally, many gardeners and plant people are wondering what they can do to make a difference. 

A bricklayer out of Brighton, UK has highlighted a simple way to help: Bee Bricks. 

Created by an eco-conscious couple, the Bee Brick looks somewhat similar to a regular brick. But the sides of the Bee Bricks feature holes of various sizes where bees can rest and nest. 

Don’t bees live in a hive? 

Some, such as honeybees, do live in colonies. But solitary bees roam alone, creating individual nests for offspring. Although solitary bees do not produce honey, they still play an important role in plant pollination. 

Because Bee Bricks are the same size as a regular masonry brick, builders can build these Bee Bricks directly into the exterior wall of a building. According to TikTok mason @cholseybrickwork, new builds over five meters in Brighton will be required to include Bee Bricks. 

More Harm Than Good? 

As with any new initiative, some people have pointed out potential flaws in the plan. 

Commenters were quick to note that these bricks may house wasps as well as bees. Others worry that the bricks will invite bugs into your home. And some people expressed concern regarding bee allergies. 

Comments

The top comment: “I wouldn’t have a house with that”, and another “No one has ever come up with a worse idea”.

There were also concerns the bricks would house spiders: “All fun and giggles until they get filled with spiders”.

Experts & Research Needed

Eco experts have other worries.

A professor of biology from the University of Sussex cautioned that these bricks could become an easy avenue for developers to “greenwash” their buildings – championing the Bee Bricks even though the benefits are minimal. 

There’s also discussion about whether or not the bee bricks would attract mites. 

It seems that more research is necessary before we conclude whether or not Bee Bricks and similar structures harm or help the pollinators. 

Other Ways to Help the Bees

It’s useful to know that Bee Bricks and similar structures will only attract bees if there is already a food source in the vicinity. So what’s the best food source to offer bees? 

Nectar-rich flowers. 

Yep, the easiest way to attract bees to your garden is to plant bee-friendly plants. 

Wildflowers are famous for hosting an abundance of buzzing buds. If you don’t have the yard space for a sprawling patch of clover, many other plants will beckon bees. 

Popular Bee-Attractors: 

  • Lavender 
  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Nasturtium
  • Marigold
  • Foxglove
  • Mint
  • Pansies 

The list goes on and on. Your local garden center will also be able to point you toward pollinator-friendly plants that grow well in your area. 

Remember, pesticides are a major threat to bee populations. So if you want to increase bee activity in your garden, swap the chemicals for a natural remedy. 

Video

@www.bricklayersonline 🧱 BRICKLAYING from @cholseybrickwork 👈 GO FOLLOW. THEY SAID : Do your bit for nature and the bees 🐝 #nature #bees #construction #builder #brickwork #bricklayer #bricklaying #bricklayer #mason #masonry #brick #construction ♬ original sound – Bricklayers Online ™️

Alternative Uses

If having bees on the side of your home worries you, the bricks can be used in insect hotels.

Bee bricks in insect hotel
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.
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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.