As designers working for Dyson, UK-based Kate and Gavin Christman worked for a company dedicated to keeping indoor spaces clean. But now the Christmans have started their own company, Green&Blue, and it's dedicated to attracting bugs to our homes.
To explain, the Christmans observed something familiar to those who live in old homes and spend lots of time outside: Certain bee species (red masons, leafcutters) are solitary creatures who live alone, often finding narrow spaces in damaged bricks or crumbling mortar in which to nest and lay eggs. Because these bees are solitary, they are not part of aggressive swarms that live in hives, but they do perform the pollinating tasks necessary to keep a healthy ecosystem going. In other words, you want them around.
What the Christmans realized is that newly-constructed homes, with perfect bricks and freshly-pointed mortar, provide no crevices for these bees to thrive. So they invented the Bee Brick, a simple Swiss-cheese take on regular bricks, with the idea that you'd sprinkle a few of these throughout every new home build.
"We recognized the scale of construction happening across the globe," Gavin told Homecrux, "and thought if every one of those houses could make space for nature we could see real change in habitat."
"Bee Brick™ is solid at the back and has moulded cavities where the bees will lay their eggs, sealing the entrance with mud or chewed up vegetation. Offspring emerge in the Spring and begin the process of nesting again, repeating the cycle."
Green&Blue is based in Cornwall, which has a clay industry manufacturing Cornish China. The Christmans use that industry's concrete waste to comprise up to 75% of each brick.
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After learning of the Christman's product, municipal authorities in both Brighton and Hove passed a law requiring all new home construction to incorporate Bee Bricks.