Brighton & Hove Council’s policy stipulates that all new buildings above five metres should include bee bricks, as well as bird nesting boxes suitable for swifts.
These bee bricks are the same size as regular bricks, but integrate a series of narrow openings like those where solitary bees are known to nest.
The aim is to increase opportunities for biodiversity. With solitary bees making up nearly 250 of the approximately 270 bee species in Britain, they play an important role in the natural ecosystem.
«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 councillor behind the initiative.
While swift bricks already feature in many UK planning policies, the inclusion of bee bricks is a relatively new development. However Brighton is not alone – councils in Cornwall and Dorset have adopted similar policies.
Faye Clifton of Green&Blue, a company that manufactures bee bricks, said they recreate an existing type of nest that is popular with solitary bees, but which is becoming increasingly rare due to the precision of modern construction.