YOUNGSTERS have certainly been busy little bees during lockdown ­— thanks to their school's new intake.

Old Hall Primary School is home to a colony of bees as part of the Bee Involved Project.

Not only is the colony vital for the environment, it has also created a buzz around school.

The school took delivery of the bee colony last October.

After carefully feeding the bees sugar syrup over the winter the children were excited to open the hive in March, just as lockdown began.

The colony not only survived the winter, but thrived ­— and helped the children of key workers take their minds of the pandemic and focus on learning about their amazing behaviours. And some pupils are helping to look after the bees over the summer holidays.

Year Three teacher Claire Hornsby said: "We were fortunate to gain funding through Bury Council's The Pitch supported by Summerseat Village Community Group's Bee Involved, who have continued to mentor us.

"The children have gained so much from having the hive in our garden area and are incredibly confident during inspections, looking for eggs and checking for stores of pollen and honey. It has been a fantastic way to bring together children of different ages and they have learnt so much which ties into the curriculum"

Bee Involved mentor and former beekeeper, Steve Ogden, who wears his grandad's distinctive beekeeping veil, has been working closely with the children.

He said : "I have been amazed by the children's enthusiasm and have watched their confidence grow since they began looking after the bees in March. It has been such a pleasure to work with the school and see how bees can really help engage children in subjects like science and the environment."

George Kenyon, in Year Four will continue to help care for the bees with Mrs Hornsby over the Summer break.

He said:" I actually find it quite a calm experience being a beekeeper. I love watching them and notice all sorts, like pollen on their legs, it's colour and how they communicate with each other."

The Bee Involved project is supported by Summerseat Village Community Group, and is open to volunteers. It currently has three additional hives in Summerseat.