The bee population is declining around the world. One British city has decided to address this problem and is demanding that all new buildings contain special bricks for birds and bees. New planning laws in Brighton and Hove now require developers to install bricks for bees and swifts into all new buildings taller than five meters. 250 of the 270 bee species in Britain are solitary buzzers. Hollow bricks with holes allow them to easily find a place to nest.

Hollow bricks are an ideal home for bees as well as birds

It has been found that bees like to nest in old and crumbling buildings. This was the inspiration for the emergence of bee bricks. In addition to bee bricks, swift bricks were also created. Swift and bee bricks can be incorporated into the brickwork of a new home.

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“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,” said Robert Nemeth, the town councilor behind the initiative, first introduced in 2019.

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Help for swifts and other birds

Swift bricks don’t just provide homes for swifts – other species of birds, and even bats, may take up these new residential opportunities. Numbers of swifts have plummeted by 58% in the 23 years between 1995 and 2018.

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Many other animal species, such as hedgehogs, are declining in Britain. To support endangered species, people in gardens need to grow their original plantings, trees, shrubs and hedges. To support pollinating insects, it is advisable to install insect hotels in the gardens. It is not difficult to help garden birds, hedgehogs, toads and other animals that are endangered.

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Bee bricks and swift bricks are produced by the ecologically oriented company Green & Blue. It offers a wide portfolio of bricks in many designs. Their prices are low and it is a minimal investment for homeowners.

The use of these special bricks could become an inspiration for other cities as well. Efforts need to be made to ensure that new buildings support pollinating insects and endangered bird species in a sustainable way.

Image credit: Green&Blue