IT has been at the centre of land-based teaching for 100 years.

To celebrate the monumental birthday, Sparsholt College, near Winchester, has reintroduced bee keeping to the site with four hives donated by two local keepers.

At a ceremony at the Horticultural Centre on its main campus on Wednesday (April 23), Lord Malmesbury, who has been a governor there for 25 years, and Tim Jackson, college principal, welcomed the return of the bees with the planting of a Lime tree.

It has been 20 years since bee keeping has featured at the college, and Mr Jackson said he is delighted.

“This event marks the start of the centenary celebrations. John Cossburn has donated the hives and been a bee keeper for many years. Adrian Kelly has donated two as well, so now we have four high quality hives managed by the experts.

“The college has to make sure that everything is at the very top end of what we need.”

Adrian Kelly, a seasonal bee inspector for the Food and Environment Research Agency, has been looking after the insects as a hobby for 35 years, and will be regularly checking up on the hives at Sparsholt.

Ex-bee keeping lecturer at the college and president of the Hampshire Bee Keeper Society, John Cossburn, said: “When they said they were reintroducing bee keeping I made the offer to give the college some bees, and here we are today.

“We are going to see how it goes and if need be they can have some more hives because it is helping the future of bee keeping. I have been in education for 30 years and it is a joy to see new bee keepers.”