This week in the Wylde blog we’re looking at bees and buildings! After a glorious bank holiday weekend full of sunshine –  we’ve finally had a taste of summer! The flowers are in full bloom and as the warmer months commence, we’re starting to see more bees buzzing around. Bees play an integral role in maintaining the world we live in – so as cities expand and the bee population decreases, it’s crucial that the architecture around us supports the habitation of these pollinators.

“Where trees and woods are essential to filter our air, bees are vital to both pollinate the food we need to survive and pollinate many of the trees and flowers that provide habitats for wildlife.”

From flat pack bee homes by IKEA, to rooftop bee hives in major cities – there is a real demand to encourage pollinating wildlife back into our cities. With over half of the entire world’s population living in urban areas, there has been a devastating impact on the bee population. One of the reasons for the threat of extinction to bees is the loss of habitat due to an increase in urban developments.

With green roofs and living walls becoming increasingly popular aspects of building design for their beneficial properties. This trend of climate-proof construction not only acts as a rainwater buffer, purifies the air, saves energy but also encourages biodiversity in the city – attracting bees who in turn help maintain the green spaces!

Keeping or offering homes to inner-city bees provides significant sustainability credentials whilst providing local honey (which helps to counteract hay fever symptoms if you didn’t know!) but even going as far as reducing the number of thefts of lead from roofs!

With the threat of extinction ever increasing architects have turned their focus from making their buildings bee-friendly, to actually designing buildings for bees! Other designers have set their imaginations on developing products that will help bring back the bee population from the brink – such as glucose-rich paper, ‘resting-point’ synthetic flowers and all year around apiaries.

It has long been known that bees are phenomenal architects themselves! Physical construction by bees has been a fascination for many architects who have observed and replicated the stunning and complex wax hives and imitated on a human-scale. We’ve collected some of our favourite bee-themed construction and design – enjoy!