BOLTON School is a hive of activity — and it is not just the students who are busy little bees.

More than 20,000 bumble bees have created a buzz around the school after setting up home in the grounds.

They are being cared for by the school’s new beekeeping club, which built a hive in preparation for their arrival.

The hive is outside the school’s greenhouse and there are hopes that the club could even produce and sell its own honey.

Pupils will care for the hive, with staff support, and the bee population could swell to 50,000.

The club was started after student Henry Mitson found out about beekeeping then asked a teacher if the school could have its own hive.

The 17-year-old said: “After discovering beekeeping I suggested to the biology department that we set up a club to give others the opportunity to experience it.

“We have made great progress through the year building hives and learning about these amazing creatures.

“The reaction of both boys and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We are hoping in the future to introduce more boys and staff to the bees and allow them to experience this incredibly interesting hobby.”

Marc Tillotson, head of biology, and who runs the club with physics teacher Roger McMinn, added: “The study and care for bees incorporates so many different skills and illuminates a multitude of diverse areas of biology.

“We have much that we can learn from the bees and much that the environment can gain from our simple efforts to support the threatened bee population.”


  • A honeybee has to travel more than 55,000 miles and visits about two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
  • Honeybees can fly about 15 miles per hour.
  • They are the only insect that produces food for humans.
  • A typical beehive makes more than 400 pounds of honey per year.
  • Honeybees usually travel about three miles from their hive.
  • A single honeybee will only produce about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • Find out more at the British Beekeepers Association website