Hive of activity as bees buzz into Student Centre

20 April 2020

150,000 bees will live in rooftop hives

More than 150,000 bees are set for a new home on the rooftop of the new showpiece Student Centre project currently underway as part of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) £200 million Masterplan.

The UCLan Estates Team introduced five hives of bees at its Westleigh Conference Centre two years ago – with the population growing to more than 250,000 bees.

And UCLan honey may be on the menu for students once the project at the iconic building – to be seen rising above the Preston skyline – is completed.

"Developing the hives has added a new dimension of work and a sense of health and wellbeing for us all."

Dave Genther, UCLan’s head groundsman, said: “The plan is to take three hives with about 50,000 bees in each to the rooftop of the new Student Centre. They will be entirely safe for students and the public in three polystyrene hives on the roof where we will create a dedicated area for them.

“All the team have got involved and thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ve had training in establishing a hive, developing the colonies and even honey production. We made a small amount of honey for the first time last year and we hope to have UCLan honey at the Student Centre at some stage.

“Developing the hives has added a new dimension of work and a sense of health and wellbeing for us all.”

Training on beekeeping has been provided by the Tree Bee Society who have even awarded certificates to a number of the UCLan staff involved at beginner and intermediate levels.

Matthew Osborne of UCLan gets to work
Matthew Osborne of UCLan gets to work

In addition to the new bee population, over 300 new trees will be planted as part of the Masterplan development, in a move to provide a greener environment for students, staff and local residents.

Construction on UCLan’s Masterplan continues to progress, with the Student Centre rising across the skyline through contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, with improvements to the highways around the Adelphi Quarter being carried out by Balfour Beatty.

To keep informed of any travel updates and for more detail about current highways information and diversions, follow @uclanmasterplan on Twitter. Alternatively, you can email the Masterplan team at