After that Twitter 'moment' around Bee Brick there were quite a few questions that came up time and time again so we thought we'd try to answer them here for you in an updated FAQ.
What is a Bee Brick?
A Bee Brick is a nesting space for solitary bees designed to be stood in the garden or to be built into walls in place of a standard brick or block - imitating the way cavity nesting solitary bee species have nested in brickwork or crumbling mortar work over many years. Bee Bricks are solid at the back so no wildlife enters your cavities - they nest within the brick.
Bee Brick - great, but what about wasps?
Bee Bricks aren't the kind of space wasps are looking for - they're solid at the back so there are simply contained cavities in which the bees to nest. You may find solitary wasps but they are really good pollinators as well.
Where do I put it?
Bee Bricks and bee houses need to be at least 1/2 metre up from ground and in plenty of sunshine.
What about the science?
We're working to build out a citizen science project to increase data in this area. We have a couple of Bee Brick studies on our website and it's an area where we definitely plan more. Our key driver is putting space for nature into places where otherwise there would be no habitat which doesn't mean we're encouraging a managed approach - just putting opportunities for species to nest.
Where can I buy Bee Bricks?
Bee Brick are available from our website and from a number of brilliant stockists both in the UK and further afield.
Who makes Bee Bricks.
The Bee Brick was designed and innovated by Green&Blue founder Gavin and so is our own design and innovation.
What are Bee Bricks made from?
Bee Bricks are made from concrete. We use 75% waste material from the Cornish china clay industry to make our concrete more environmentally friendly and to mitigate against the impact and we also know this material gives us a far greater longevity that many others, lasting the lifetime of a building.
Do I need to clean my Bee Bricks?
There are mixed opinions on the subject of maintenance when it comes to your bee hotel and it is an area that will be closely studied as part of our coming data project. The Green&Blue bee house range takes inspiration from the way that solitary bees have created their nests in brickwork and crumbling mortar for many years with minimal interference from humans. Bees are naturally selective about where they nest and will often clear an area before going about their nesting activity. The Green&Blue range is about creating habitat for wildlife species where otherwise there would be literally no home for nature - such as in the walls of new builds.
If you do choose to clean your Bee Brick there is a guide here or you can do things like lining cavities to enable over-wintering. an involved and committed process in itself.
Won't I get stung?
Solitary bees aren't aggressive as they have no honey or queen to protect - meaning they have no reason to sting, most don't even have a sting. A great way to enjoy nature and bees without panic!
What about data?
As above, this is an area where you can expect more from us over the coming years. Our mission to make homes havens for wildlife means understanding the data behind this is key for us. It's why we work with experts like Bat Conservation Trust and Swift experts as well as bee experts.
Any other questions? Drop us a line. You can email us email@example.com or give us a call on 01872 858658.