DARWEN could be a hive of beekeeping activity when a new group is formed.

Beekeeper Bob Fulton said he wanted to form Darwen Beekeeping Group to satisfy a growing demand for apiculture in the town.

Concern about the declining bee population has led to a rise in interest in beekeeping in recent years.

And Pole Lane beekeeper Mr Fulton wants to set up a group for all those with an interest in bees, and beekeeping.

Mr Fulton, 80, said he was looking for people who were also interested in getting involved.

He said: “I have been keeping bees for a number of years now.

“People keep asking me why there is no club. There is a big demand at the moment. Every-one is talking about beekeeping these days.

“I have always got people com- ing to look at my bees. And people are always interested in honey, especially now we are getting into hayfever season.

“Locally-produced honey has traces of pollen in it, which can help build up an immunity.”

Mr Fulton said he was looking to charge £15 per member, with the money going towards paying for venues, and other costs.

He said: “It is not just for people who want to keep bees.

“It can be an environm-ental thing where people can learn about the insects, as well as other wildlife.”

Gill McLean, of the British Beekeepers Association, said it was more important than ever at the moment to incr-ease interest, and awareness, of bees. She said: “One in three mouthfuls of the food we eat is dependent on pollin- ation at a time when a crisis is threatening the world’s honey bees. Therefore it is crucial to promote the craft of beekeeping and to adv-ance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environ-ment.”

Anyone interested in getting involved with the group can call Mr Fulton on 01254 772780.