New hives create a buzz in Thorpe St Andrew

A new haven for bees is creating a buzz in Thorpe St Andrew after a plot of land at the Hillside Avenue allotments has been turned into native wild flower area.

Two bee hives have recently been put in place and more are expected to follow after a �2,400 Big Lottery grant allowed the derelict site to be cultivated into a good habitat for the insect.

And it is hoped the Thorpe St Andrew project will inspire others around the county as more than 50 parish council representatives visited this month.

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council did the work as part of Broadland District Council's campaign to 'Put the Bee back into Broadland'.

The project is designed to educate and inform people living in the area and youngsters about the benefit of bees in the community and countryside.

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It is hoped that more communities will get involved and create sustainable environments for the insects to flourish at a time when numbers are declining alarmingly nationwide.

The bee hives were installed by keen beekeeper Gary Spinks and honey from the hives will be sold at local fetes and fairs.

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He said that it was a 'superb location' for the hives.

'At the moment they say bees do better in an urban environment than they do in the countryside. It is a brilliant oppurtunity and we are hoping to get up to three hives by the autumn and next year build it up to six.

The bees in the hives will also produce Thorpe St Andrew honey which will be sold at town events.

He said that he had done a bee keeping course before he started looking after bee hives.

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council clerk Steven Ford said: 'Increasing the local bee population will be of enormous benefit to our allotment holders and Hillside Avenue Primary School children are already using the area as an educational resource to study wildlife and habitats.'

Broadland District Council decided to 'put the bee back into Broadland' as part of its sustainable development policy after scientists warned of a dramatic decline in bee numbers.

Bees are vital for crop pollination, and a fall in the bee population is also hitting wildflowers and the wildlife that feeds on them. It is estimated that bees are responsible for pollinating crops worth �13 billion in Europe alone.

Do you have a story about bees? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772427 or e-mail

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