Creating new habitats to encourage biodiversity is an important part of the philosophy behind Nansledan which is why the Duchy of Cornwall has specified the use of bee bricks in the development.
The brainchild of Cornish company Green&Blue, the bee brick provides a nesting place for solitary bees. Around 90% of bees are solitary yet few people know about their important pollinating role. Historically they would nest in old crumbling mortar and hedgerows, but with many such habitats gone or under threat, the bee brick is designed as an alternative.
Working closely with Green&Blue and with support from charity Buglife, the Duchy and its housebuilding consortium at Nansledan are introducing bee bricks across the site, complementing the bee-friendly planting also being undertaken.
The bricks are cast in concrete using up to 70% Cornish china clay waste and have a solid back so that no bees enter the property or cavity wall, they simply nest within the cavities of the brick. And like the nesting boxes being built into new homes at Nansledan, the bricks are a ‘fit and forget’ component requiring very little upkeep.
Solitary bees do not produce honey or have a queen to protect so they very rarely sting and are safe to encourage around children and animals.
“Bee bricks are a real ‘why wouldn’t you’ solution to the bee crisis we face. We’re proud to work with the Duchy to locate bee bricks across the Nansledan development and help improve bee habitats in Cornwall” – Gavin Christman, Green&Blue co-founder.