A hive of bees has been installed at an NHS office as part of a commitment to making the most of its land and encouraging biodiversity.
Stella House NHS Business Services Authority, at Newburn in Newcastle, had the hive on its roof set up as part of a biodiversity project, and a team of employees has stepped up to maintain it.
It is the latest development in the two-year project which addresses concerns over energy use.
Melanie Maughan, the Corporate Responsible Manager in Stella house, said: “It’s all about getting people involved.
“We are hoping to expand into the centre of town with a hive installed on the roof of Bridge House near the Tyne Bridge.
“Just seeing the bees in action be therapeutic to watch. It’s been a great project.”
The hive is one of many other eco-friendly features of Stella house, which also has an electric vehicle.
Melanie added the group are hoping to sell any honey produced to raise money for local charities, although it will be a while before any can be collected from the newly set up hive.
Three members of the Stella House staff have completed a 10 week bee keeping course and will be supervising the rooftop hive.
Britain is one of the countries with the highest shortfall of honey bees, even though their value to the farming economy is estimated to be £200 million a year.
Pollination is an important part of the ecosystem and honey bees, like the ones at Stella House, are the best at performing this function.
The NHSBSA will be arranging awareness sessions and hive visits during the summer, including school trips, to get more people involved with the bees.