A sanctuary for thousands of honey bees has been created on a rooftop at Beverley’s Flemingate centre.
Working closely with Beverley Beekeepers Association (BBA), the team has established the haven for a colony of bees.
With the declining populations of bees a hot topic in the news. Urban beekeeping is on the increase with rooftop spaces becoming a popular location for beehives.
The Flemingate colony of almost 20,000 bees is being cared for by local beekeepers from the BBA. Plans are also underway to invite children from nearby St Nicholas Primary School to visit the hive. The visits will help them understand about bees and beekeeping. Also, they will learn how bees contribute to the natural environment.
BBA member Jim Harbidge said: “We’ve been keeping a close eye on the rooftop hive and the bees are settling in well into their new home.
“We visit at least weekly to check the growing colony has enough space and will look out for the pests and diseases that threaten honey bees in the UK.
“We’re trialling one hive initially, then hoping to add more until we have fully operational apiary producing honey.
“One of the benefits of having a town centre location is the diversity of plants and flowers in gardens around the area. It’s been fascinating watching the bees return to the hive laden with pollen of all colours, reflecting the variety of plants grown by people around the centre.”
Flemingate Bee Colony Helps Boost Biodiversity
The rooftop hive has been established to further boost Flemingate’s biodiversity credentials. This follows on from the centre’s success in the Beverley in Bloom awards.
Furthermore, it will eventually include a portable greenhouse and mobile flower beds containing bee-friendly plants and flowers.
Jo Bridgeman, Flemingate’s Marketing and Events Manager, said: “We’re really looking forward to being able to invite schoolchildren onto the roof space. They will be able to watch a live bee inspection and learn first-hand how vital bees are to our habitat and environment.
“Last year pupils from St Nicholas Primary School created a beautiful community garden here at Flemingate. We continue to work hard with our planting and landscaping to create good all year round interest and colour. This includes choosing plants and flowers that attract bees, butterflies and also other wildlife in the summer.”
Jim added: “Local residents can help not only Flemingate’s honey bees thrive but all Beverley pollinators. They can do this by introducing plants such as borage, sunflowers and teasel into their gardens. These are inexpensive to buy and easy to grow.”