ABOUT 180,000 bees can now call Oldbury Power Station home.

They have been introduced at the site as part of the station’s nature trail.

An apiary, also known as a bee yard, has been built in the orchard area of the site's popular nature trail, housing three beehives, which are each home to 60,000 honeybees.

Introduced as part of the site's Biodiversity Action Plan, the hives have made an interesting addition to the established nature trail and existing varied wildlife around the station.

Paul Burrowson, a safety engineer at Oldbury, is already an experienced beekeeper and will be keeping an eye on the honey bees.

He said: "I am an experienced beekeeper and have a keen interest in this project. It has been great to bring one of my hobbies to the workplace and I hope this project will be a success."

Signs have been put up to let walkers know that the bees are now in residence at Oldbury, and the apiary is fenced off to prevent dogs, badgers and other wildlife from disturbing them.

Oldbury Power Station has its own 7.5km nature trail, which links with the Severn Way public footpath.

Matthew Castle, head of environment at Oldbury Power Station, said: "Over the past few years we have been constantly striving to improve the diversity of species found around the site.

"We have worked hard to maintain and improve the habitats we have which include orchards, ponds, silt lagoons and hedgerows and we are pleased that our hard work is paying off."