Express & Star

A new home for bees on the roof of a Black Country shopping centre

A shopping centre has a particular 'bee in its bonnet' and has created beehives on its roof for World Bee Day.


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The Ryemarket Shopping Centre, on High Street, Stourbridge, has helped to give bees a lovely new home with its handmade rooftop beehives.

The team unveiled the bee-friendly homes just in time for National Bee Day, on Monday, May 20, which looks to highlight the importance of bees in the world's ecosystem.

Caz Barratt, co-owner and now beekeeper at Eco Maniax with husband Dean Barratt, in the Ryemarket Shopping Centre, said: "We have actually only just finished putting it together this morning.

"We have two lovely beehives that we purchased as flat-packs. We actually got the idea from World Bee Day, but also just because we love bees really."

The beehives will be placed on the roof of the building and will hopefully be filled with a new colony of busy bees sourced by the Hagley & Stourbridge Beekeepers' Association.

Caz added: "It's World Bee Day on Monday so we thought that this is a great way to give these bees a lovely home and also to increase awareness of these pollinators.

"The Hagley & Stourbridge Beekeepers' Association are rearing a colony of bees for us to home in these beehives and we hope they will be ready for us by early June."

The bees will be hard at work happily making honey and pollinating flowers around the Stourbridge area for years to come

Caz said that rooftops are a fantastic place for beehives as they are otherwise 'dead space' that is hardly used.

Caz said: "It's a great place for them really. We got the idea from similar shopping centres like the Bull Ring in Birmingham which also does this.

"We are hoping that we can sell more local bee products through this, like honey or beeswax, however, we are really doing this because we just love bees!"

Caz will take up a position as beekeeper of the new colony after passing a course organised by the Hagley & Stourbridge Beekeepers' Association.

She added: "We are always on the lookout for new eco-minded things to do and it's just really great for the environment.

"We have Stourbridge in Bloom coming up soon so hopefully we will see the bees hard at work for that."