Merseyside academics and children team up for beehive project

A child holds a honeycomb plate with bees on it
Image caption The children involved are having to "come up with ways of measuring" the data from the hives

A project aimed at testing beehives and involving children in science has begun on Merseyside.

Studies at Crosby's Queensway Allotments and Knowsley Safari Park are aiming to find out if plastic hives are as effective as wooden models.

The project is a joint venture between University of Liverpool and St Mary's Preparatory School in Blundellsands.

The university's Dr Stewart Plaistow said the children were inventing "ways of measuring" the data from the hives.

Honeybee decline

He said it was "important that kids start to understand how you go about asking scientific questions".

"The aim here is to compare the performance, health and ease with which bees can be kept, using either a traditional hive or the modern plastic one," he said.

"Anything we find will be useful feedback for both beekeepers and scientists working on honeybee decline."

Teacher John Moran said the experiment would help the children "understand the contribution their findings may make".

The three year project, funded by grants from the Royal Society and HSBC, will see 10 hives on each site assessed.

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