HONEYBEE colonies have been reintroduced to a school near Blandford.

Bryanston School has reintroduced the colonies to provide pupils with an insight into the world of beekeeping.

The move has been overseen by Ben Pullan, Resident Teacher of Classics at the School and an experienced apiarist, and has benefitted from a special grant provided by the Bryanston Parents’ Association.

He said: "When I joined the school last year, I quickly discovered that Bryanston had a long history of beekeeping.

"However, established colonies that were lost a few years ago weren’t replaced and our hives fell into disuse.

"I am delighted the move has prompted a very enthusiastic response from so many pupils who are keen to see for themselves the fascinating and extraordinary lives of honeybees.

"Indeed, they know from their studies that these amazing insects play such an important role in local ecosystems but are under immense threat from pesticides, loss of habitat, parasites and fungal diseases."

Two new and locally sourced bee colonies are now in hives positioned on a peaceful site in the school’s grounds near the river.

Fifteen pupils are already taking part in the beekeeping activity on Friday afternoons.

Sixth former, Josie Leach said: "It’s a wonderful experience and I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to take some time off my screen and away from my studies to gain a truly fascinating insight into such an important part of the natural world.

"Learning the skills of beekeeping also carries a real sense of responsibility and, of course, there is always the reward of honey which is pretty hard to beat."

Bryanston School now hopes to revive a number of spin-off activities for pupils as a result of the reintroduction of honeybee colonies, including candle-making and using honey in baking projects.