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£4k training project boost's Isle of Man's bees

image copyrightIOM BEEKEEPERS
image captionThe facility in Marown will be used for training would-be beekeepers

The health of bees in the Isle of Man has been given a boost thanks to a £4,500 lottery grant for a permanent beekeeping education centre.

The facility in Marown will be used for practical training and workshops for would-be beekeepers.

Funding for the project was handed to the island's beekeeping federation by the Manx Lottery Trust.

The trust's Sarah Kelly said the money would provide "vital education and training".

She added: "It's so important that we look after our bees on the Island and the federation is doing a great job in spreading that important message."

The Isle of Man was declared free of the deadly Verroa mite by the European Union in 2015.

image copyrightIOM BEEKEEPERS
image captionThe centre has been funded by a grant from the Manx Lottery Trust

The parasite can destroy whole colonies of bees, and poses a threat to the insects in most parts of the world.

The disease-free status meant the island could introduce a ban on bees being imported.

Training offered at the new centre will include advice on caring for bees, improving the habitat the insects thrive in, and keeping the island free from the Varroa mite.

Federation spokesman Cilla Platt said: "We hope to encourage the wider Manx community to look after and enhance the environment around them, encouraging individuals to do their bit to make a difference rather than just leaving it to others."

Manx queen bees have been exported from the island to other countries to help boost bee numbers and for research.

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