Bee fans will be buzzing to learn that a new project is increasing Preston’s honeybee population.Advertisement
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has joined forces with local bee preservation organisation, Tree Bee Society, to install three nucleus hives at Westleigh Conference Centre in Cottam. The hives will provide temporary accommodation for 150,000 to 300,000 honeybees, before they are transferred to larger hives.
As part of the project, a group of nine UCLan staff are undergoing specialist training to become beekeepers. There are also plans to sell the honey produced in local catering outlets, and for students to learn to make beeswax based products, including lip balms and hand creams.
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Michael Ahern, UCLan’s chief operating officer, said, “We are very proud to play our part within the community and this UCLan Honeybee Project is another way of lending support to an important local initiative.
“These hives will not only help increase the local bee population, but they will also offer so much to our students, staff and wider community. We’ve already trained up a group of beekeepers, and we’re planning for students from a range of academic courses to get involved.
“We also see this as a great opportunity for school children and activity groups to come along to learn about the bees and the environment.”
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The University’s £200 million Masterplan will also involve the bees. When the £57 million student centre is finished, the hives will be moved from Westleigh to the rooftop of UCLan’s new city centre building. The number of trees on the campus is also increasing from 450 to more than 700.
Abigail Reade, Director at the Tree Bee Society, said, “This is a huge step in establishing the bees at UCLan – the bees that are moving into Westleigh will eventually be the same ones moving up to the new building.
“While this is just temporary accommodation for now, the grounds team has worked very hard to prepare the gardens for the bees, and the rest of the UCLan Beekeeping Team are very excited to take over as caretakers.”
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