Buzz about area’s first bee centre

Photo: David Hurst'Bee Keeper Steve Ganner from Lostock Hall
Photo: David Hurst'Bee Keeper Steve Ganner from Lostock Hall
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Steps are being made to open Lancashire’s first Honeybee Exhibition Centre.

In a joint venture with Samlesbury Hall, the Blackburn and East Lancashire Beekeeping Society is hoping to open up in the venue next year.

Lostock Hall bee keeper Steve Ganner, 60, is involved in the plans, and is running a taster session at Samlesbury Hall on Sunday.

He said: “It’s very important because we don’t have a honeybee centre in this area that primary school children can visit. I’ve spoken to a lot of teachers who’ve said that practically everything involved in bee keeping can be related to Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.

“I’m also keen to get more people interested in bee keeping, as the numbers are in decline for reasons such as mites, herbidices, pesticides and farming techniques.”

Steve, a former fireman, said the centre is likely to begin on a small scale while funding is secured, but could include glass-sided hives, the opening of hives and a 3D virtual reality theatre, where visitors see from a bee’s point-of-view, flying across fields in search of nectar.

At the free taster session running from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, Steve will be opening a hive containing 40,000 bees, and showing guests the interior structure, the male bees, the queen and pollen using glass frames, six inches away from the public.

Children will also be able to search a glass-sided hive for the queen, take part in quizes and complete a treasure hunt.

Steve has worked with graphic design students at Runshaw College, to produce material for the taster day.

Jan Moon, graphics course leader, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for all our students to work on a live project, and hopefully one that will continue with Samlesbury Hall throughout the development of the Honey Bee Centre, with our future graphic students.”