Belfast Telegraph

Bez backing urban beekeeping scheme

Bez, the former Happy Mondays star, has revealed he suffered an unpleasant bee attack after leaving his trouser zip undone while tending his bee hive.

The Manchester music star is backing a green initiative to encourage more people set up hives of bee colonies in towns and cities.

Bez now lives part-time on a commune near Swansea in south Wales, where he is learning to keep bees but was back in Manchester to help promote the initiative. New hives and bees can cost up to £800 but Bez said he was lucky enough to have bought his for £50 off "some fella" who no longer wanted a colony.

However he has been stung badly after leaving his flies undone and not covered by his bee-keeping foil tunic.

He said around 100 bees got inside his pants and he had to run into the woods away from the hive but was "stung everywhere" inside his trousers.

Last year's prolonged winter and wet summer devastated Britain's honey bee population but the insects are vital for pollinating crops and flowers and essential for the eco-system.

Two new hives have been set up on the rooftops of the Printworks entertainment complex in the city centre, one by the firm itself and a second by the Hard Rock Cafe, a tenant in the building.

Bez, a former winner of Celebrity Big Brother, said: "My grandad, when he came home from the war, the only thing he came home with was four massive tins of honey and ever since honey has been part of our family life - on our cereal and in our tea.

"I'm getting on a bit, don't know what I'm going to do, no pension pot and the prospect of growing old in the city, well...

"So I met these people a few years ago doing community type of living, land sharing, living in a community way. You can live on next to nothing. It's about living the social life but keeping the party going and have a bit of fun."

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