A colony of honeybees can now be found on the roof of Prospect Centre, which is believed to be the first city centre business to boast such an initiative.
The unique eco project has been developed with the advice of Beverley Beekeepers Association and local school children will be invited to visit the urban eco habitat to understand more about the nature of bees.
“Prospect Centre really is a hive of eco-friendly activity now,” Lee Appleton, centre manager at Prospect Centre, explains. “Shopping centres are at the heart of their towns and cities and definitely have a responsibility to promote positive change for their areas.
“It has been brilliant to see the rooftop allotment come to life over the past year and now we are looking forward to having the opportunity to introduce schools and the public to the bee colony in our ever expanding roof garden.”
Beverley Beekeeper’s secretary, Alan Carswell, kindly agreed to install and manage the half sized colony, referred to as a nucleus colony or a ‘nuc’. His aim is to develop the bees into a full sized colony by the end of the summer.
He said: “The environment created by Prospect Centre on its rooftop allotment is fantastic and the first colony of bees has settled in really well.
“Many of our cities, for example, London, Manchester, Sheffield now have hives on the roofs of buildings. The bees fly high above the traffic and the heads of the shoppers so they go unnoticed about their business. The flowers in the parks and gardens around Hull city centre will provide a them with a good source food.
“There will be no realistic chance of a honey crop from it this year but hopefully I’ll be able to get a feel for the amount of forage available to them in the city centre.
“The dramatic decline in populations of a lot of bee species is a well-documented problem and projects like this all help to keep them part of the UK habitat.”
The rooftop allotment, which earned the shopping centre a Hull Daily Mail Pride Award for the Business in the Community category and a shortlisting for the Humber Renewable Awards, now also boasts a fully-fledged greenhouse that will be used to grow produce for local homelessness charities.
Mr Appleton added: “It is such an exciting environmental and community initiative, one which is very important to the centre’s team members who brought the project to life, and it is fantastic to see it keep going from strength to strength.”