Exeter shopping centre becomes home to 10,000 bees

Princesshay Bee project Shopping centre staff are being invited to train up as beekeepers to help manage the colony

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The roof of a shopping centre in Exeter has become home to 10,000 honey bees.

Bee-friendly plants and features have been installed on top of the Princesshay centre, consisting of raised beds and an irrigation system to ensure the plants thrive.

Centre operations manager Andrew Littlejohns said he thought of the idea after watching a programme about the honey bee's demise.

Staff have been invited to train as beekeepers to help manage the project.

Mr Littlejohns added he hoped more hives would be set up on the roof by the end of 2014.

Colony 'settled'

His said the turning the idea of housing city bees into a reality was a "really exciting project".

Jason Wallis, of WeeTree Nurseries, which has provided training sessions, said: "The environment created by Princesshay on their sheltered rooftop is fantastic.

"The first colony of bees has settled in well and we're ready now to help establish the second colony in their new hive.

"The decline of the honey bee is a well-documented problem and projects like this all help to keep this important species part of the UK habitat."

The project is being funded by Princesshay landlord, Land Securities.

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