THERE was a real buzz around Hyde Park - when Jonathan Reynolds MP joined celebrations to mark the installation of two bee hives.
The hives will soon be home to thousands of honey bees. And the honey will be used in the ground-breaking Park Cafe, which is run by a team of trainees with learning disabilities.
The beehive project was made possible after Park Cafe job coach Dawn Barlow completed a year-long course in bee-keeping. And on Friday Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds joined Dawn and local councillors to celebrate the delivery of the new hives.
Mr Reynolds said: "Bees have a vital role to play in the environment - but as our use of pesticides has increased, the number of bees has declined.
"Introducing hives to areas like Hyde Park will not only have a positive effect on the environment, but it will be a further attraction for visitors.
"Visitors may want to learn more about the way bees live or they may just want to taste the honey they produce.
"Either way the hives will be a welcome addition to the park. And they will build on the success of the Park Cafe.
"This is an exciting project, which has already captured the imagination of park goers. And I was delighted to have been a part of the launch celebrations."
Dawn was inspired to take the bee-keeping course after talking to Park Cafe customer Catherine Edwards, who is a member of Stockport Beekeepers' Association. C
atherine then acted as mentor to Dawn - helping her come to grips with all aspects of keeping bees, from assembling hives to swarm control and disease. And now she has all the training she needs to colonise the hives in Hyde Park, which have been supported by the Hyde District Assembly.
Cllr Philip Fitzpatrick, chair of the Hyde District Assembly, said: "We already have an orchard in the park and soon we'll have our own bees, too. The trainees have been preparing great food ever since the Park Café opened so I'm looking forward to what they'll cook up with the fruit and honey.
"This is a marvelous project and I'm so glad that Hyde District Assembly has been able to support it. I'm sure we'll all enjoy the taste of its success."
And Tameside Council's Executive Member for Adult Services Cllr Lynn Travis - who advocated the care nurture of honey bees - said: "I too am buzzing to have helped and that the people at the Park Café will soon have their colony of bees with all the opportunities this will bring."
Published march 14, 2011