From cleaning out the basement to taking up bread making, people around the world have taken up new hobbies to fill their quarantined time. One creative bee-lover in Ireland decided to use the time to create an elaborate home for bees out of LEGO blocks.
Ruari O Leocháin, a school teacher and wildlife activist from the town of Athlone, County Westmeath, built the structure bit by bit and then coaxed 300,000 bees to take up residence in the colorful structure in his backyard.
The structure is made with no adhesives, but the bees reinforce the LEGO hive with their natural “bee glue” or propolis, a resinous compound bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with the secretions, saps, and resins of plants. This seals off all potential gaps that would allow in wind.
People quickly reached out to Leocháin seeking to replicate his project. Although he didn’t use a template to build the structure, he kept a real hive next to him for reference as he constructed the LEGOs. He also posted a video of the structure’s creation to be shared around the world.
Leocháin uses the profits from selling his honey to support wildlife conservation efforts, including his local shop, Athlone’s Wildlife Apiaries.