BEEKEEPERS have been going back to school in an effort to improve honeybee health and combat disease.

A science laboratory at Polam Hal School, in Grange Road, Darlington, has been loaned out to the Darlington Beekeepers Association (DBKA) to help educate and support its members.

Microscopists Shirley and Richard Bond have used the laboratory to teach beekeepers microscopy, to help identify potential risks to bees, and ensure diseases and pests can be quickly diagnosed and treated.

As a thank you for the use of the school facilities, chairman of the DBKA, Malcolm Harding, presented Polam Hall headmaster, John Moreland, and head of biology, Sue Dobson, with a poster on honey bees for use in science classes.

Mr Bond said he was hugely grateful to the school for providing the facilities.

“It’s not often that we get the chance to use a properly fitted out laboratory where we can teach properly,” he added.

Mr Moreland said: “We are delighted to be able to make our science laboratory available to the association and hope that it will be benefit to future bee populations.”

The association is hosting another event for beekeepers at the school on Saturday (May 16) from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Beekeepers wishing to have their bees checked for Nosema infection should bring a sample of 30 bees to be analysed.

The event is being run with the support of a Health Bee training grant from Bee Diseases Insurance.