A Syrian refugee has set up a bee hive project near Marsden.

Dr Ryad Alsous, a bee-keeping expert who now lives in Huddersfield, will use a plot of the Canal & River Trust’s land for his new Buzz Project.

The former professor of agriculture at Damascus University, which is in the capital of Syria, aims to help local refugees to find a place and purpose in the community by keeping bees.

He said: “As a refugee myself, I understand the issues and problems affecting the everyday life of people who have been displaced and who often carry emotional tensions and feeling of isolation arising from their experiences and memories. Many in this situation have had high level careers and so have an enormous amount to offer and contribute.

Beehive project on the nature trail at Standedge Visitor Centre, Marsden. Beekeeper Ryad Alsous smokes the bees, watched by (l-r) Jenny Jack,Carol Waters and Jean York.

“This opportunity allows them to make a useful contribution and gain skills and expertise that will help them to fully integrate into the community.”

Up to 10 bee hives, as well as storage space, meeting facilities and space for honey extraction, will be housed on a plot of the land close to historic waterways attraction Standedge Tunnel’s visitor centre.

The formal launch of the project is at 2pm on September 17.