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Holyrood buzzing over new arrivals

Two beehives have been installed at the Scottish Parliament.

The latest features to the garden, whose arrival was overseen by the Presiding Officer, mean Holyrood has become the first legislature in the UK to have beehives to help support the honey bee population.

The hives, installed by Kelvin Valley Honey, will become home to Scottish honey bees which will arrive later this year.

Paul Holmes, chair of Kelvin Valley Honey, said: "Honey bees are responsible for the pollination of over 60% of all of Scotland's agricultural crops, produce, fruits, flowers, trees, shrubs and plants.

"Honey bees at the Scottish Parliament is a positive example of how grassroots community organisations such as ours and the nation's policy and decision makers can join together in making a real difference to an issue that ultimately affects us all."

Kelvin Valley Honey is an initiative of Kilsyth Community Market Garden, a body with charitable aims owned and managed by residents of the Upper Kelvin Valley.

The project was born out of concerns about the dramatic decline in the area's honey bee population in recent years and the negative impact this has on crop, wildlife and tree pollination.

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick said: "I am delighted that the Scottish Parliament will be the first UK legislature to have its own beehive.

"It is often said that the Parliament is a place with a great buzz, well it really will be true when we welcome the new additions to Holyrood."

She said it is a "great way to support Scotland's honey bee population", which has suffered decline rapidly over the past couple of years.

The beehives will be managed and maintained by Kelvin Valley Honey at no cost to the Scottish Parliament.

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