LOCAL organisation Kelvin Valley Honey is celebrating some sweet news of its own.
For the Kilsyth-based social enterprise has received a substantial injection of much-needed cash to enable it to drive forward development of similar projects to other areas of Central Scotland.
It will also strengthen its bee-friendly habitat conservation and creation across the Kelvin Valley.
Central Scotland Green Network has awarded KVH a development grant of over £53,000 to be spent between now and March.
In the Kelvin Valley the award enables KVH to further develop a volunteering task force planting trees and fruit bushes on derelict or long-term vacant land, distributing an additional 4000 tree saplings and fruit bushes free to Kelvin Valley residents, and extending its Gardening Together garden share programme.
Kelvin Valley Honey director Heather McLean said: “In less than a year we have already proved the effectiveness of the KVH model in attracting almost 40 people to take up beekeeping.
“This award allows us to work with others beyond the Kelvin Valley to set up similar community driven social enterprises.
“We are already in discussions with the HELIX Project in Falkirk, Inverclyde Council and communities in North Lanarkshire to help them establish projects adapting the KVH approaches. This money enables us to promote the approach to communities across Central Scotland.”
She added: “Through pollination of plants, trees and crops honeybees are essential to our survival.
“As Einstien said, were honeybees to die out today then so would mankind become extinct within a month. Scotland’s honeybee population has fallen by over a third in the past three years due to a combination of harsh winters, disease and the decline in the numbers of people keeping bees.
“Through providing training and free loan of equipment and honeybee starter colonies KVH goes some way towards addressing this decline.”
The Central Scotland Green Network project covers nearly 70 per cent of Scotland’s population and is the biggest greenspace project of its kind in Europe.
A CSGN spokesperson said: “Kelvin Valley Honey is one of 31 exciting projects which the CSGN Development Fund is delighted to fund.
“The funding will result in real action on the ground – involving volunteers in greening areas of derelict and vacant land, which will not only benefit bees and other wildlife, but will provide training opportunities and enhance the landscape.”