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Princesshay buzzing with Queen Bee success

By June 30, 2016January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

Princesshay’s City Bee project has achieved a massive 90% success rate with its Queen Bee rearing programme with 4 Queen Bees taking to the apiary, situated in the rooftop garden. At the end of May Princesshay bee keeper, Jason Wallis of WeeTree Nurseries will introduce the new queens to the current the hives.

Jason Wallis said, “The aim of the new Queen Bee rearing programme was to introduce new healthy queens to the current hives for the season ahead to ensure the hives were as productive as possible. We are really pleased with how the rearing programme is going so far. It really is a great result.”

Princesshay is also launching a new observation hive this summer, offering visitors and school groups the opportunity to see the activity inside the hive through glass panels. Princesshay regularly encourage visitors to visit the project and get an insight into the busy world of bees. To date, the city bee project has been visited by over 750 school children, students and members of the public.


Princesshay’s City Bee project began in 2012, when a tranquil rooftop garden was created for honey bees high above the shopping centre as part of an environmental initiative which forms part of the company’s wider biodiversity strategy.

Now entering its 4th year, Princesshay’s city bee project continues to grow, with the project now housing 5 hives with approximately 100,000 bees. Honey that is harvested from Princesshay’s city bee project is sold in Chandos Deli, located in Roman Walk with all proceeds donated to Princesshay’s Charity of the Year, Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education.


The initial City Bee’s concept was investigated by Andy Littlejohns, Princesshay’s operations manager after watching a television programme on the decline of the honey bee and the impact on the environment.

Andy said, “It has been brilliant to see the project come to life over the past 4 years and we have loved the opportunity to introduce schools and the public to our wonderful hidden bee garden on the roof. It is an exciting environmental initiative, one which is very close to my heart and it is fantastic to see it go from strength to strength.”