Salford laboratory to monitor bee health

Jack Hobbs and Ian Molyneux The apiary houses six hives with 500,000 bees

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A group of allotment holders turned beekeepers have opened a laboratory to monitor the under-threat insects for potential deadly diseases.

The laboratory in Salford allows volunteers to examine bees under a microscope to check exotic pests have not infiltrated the hives.

In June the government ordered an urgent review of the decline of bees.

The project is run by gardeners at Kersal Vale allotments, who also collect honey from the apiary.

Harry Davies, chairman of Kersal Vale Allotment and Horticultural Society, said: "We are assisting the National Bee Unit in the detection of exotic pests, in particular the small hive beetle and the Asian hornet, which at present are not thought to be in the UK but could have devastating effect on the honey bee colonies."

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