TT2, the operator of the Tyne Tunnel, has welcomed a new type of worker to its Tyneside offices, by introducing a hive of honey bees onto the site.

The hive, which was installed by the Newcastle and District Beekeepers Association, will improve the landscape of the site, while helping to increase the number of honey bees in the local area.

Due in part to a rise in chemical pesticides, the UK’s bee population has declined significantly since 1900, with 13 species being declared extinct and a further 35 species considered at risk. Projects such as TT2’s beehive will help to encourage more bee activity, and increase the insects’ numbers.

The hive will be kept away from the main building and will be maintained by beekeeper Ian Campbell, Chairman of the Newcastle Beekeepers and a member of the British Beekeepers’ Association.

Ron Henderson, Tunnel Manager at TT2, said: “Having a beehive on site is an excellent initiative for any business that has the space for one. Helping the environment is fundamental to TT2, as we want to be a great neighbour to our local community.

“The team have also had an opportunity to learn about how the hive works from an expert, so who knows, we might have a new swarm of beekeepers in Tyneside!”

Ian Campbell said: “I was delighted that TT2 contacted  Newcastle Beekeepers Association to install some beehives. Many people are frightened of bees, but they’re friendly insects that rarely sting unless provoked. The hive’s placement is ideal because the bees will be able to visit a wide range of plants that flower in urban areas, and hopefully they’ll produce some delicious honey.”

To find out more about beekeeping, contact newcastle.beekeepers@gmail.com.