The University of Central Lancashire is buzzing with the sound of tens of thousands of new recruits.
The Preston-based institution has just “signed up” between 150,000 and 300,000 honeybees.
Three nucleus hives have been installed at the Westleigh site in Cottam.
Besides helping improve the bee population in the city, as part of the link-up with Tree Bee Society, a local bee preservation organisation, a group of nine UCLan staff are undergoing specialist training to become beekeepers.
There are also plans to sell the honey produced in local catering outlets, and for students to make beeswax-based products, including lip balms and hand creams, as part of their studies.
The current up to 300,000 bees will eventually be moved to bigger hives .
Once the £57m student centre is finished, the hives will be moved from Westleigh to the rooftop of UCLan’s new city centre building.
The number of trees on the campus is also increasing, from 450 to more than 700.
Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are very proud to play our part within the community.
“And this UCLan Honeybee Project is another way of lending support to an important local initiative.
“These hives will not only help increase the local bee population, but they will offer so much to our students, staff and wider community.
“We’ve already trained up a group of beekeepers, we’re planning for students from a range of academic courses to get involved and we see this as a great opportunity for schoolchildren and activity groups to come along to learn about the bees and the environment.”
Abigail Reade, director at the Tree Bee Society, said: “This is a huge step in establishing the bees at UCLan.”