Southside buzzing with ‘immigrants’

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Around 120,000 immigrants were flown in to the southside this week from Italy.

After three different health and immigration tests, the workers have already been issued with visas to work in the hospitality sector and will be housed on the rooftop of the Battlefield Rest restaurant.

The collaboration between the restaurant and conservationists Plan Bee will see the huge swarm of honey bees installed in hives and producing honey for the restaurant, which celebrates the centenary of the premises, originally a tram terminus.

The project is also designed to engage with schools and other organisations, who can book a visit to the restaurant and learn about bees and their importance to the planet as they come under threatfrom ecological and predatory attack. The first visitors to the rooftop apiary were pupils from nearby Battlefield primary.

Restaurateur Marco Giannasi said: “We were looking for ideas to engage the community and particularly with school children and I met beekeeper Warren Bader at a business conference. It seemed a natural partnership as we can also use the honey in some of our signature dishes.”

Mr Bader, who runs the sustainability company Plan Bee, said the area is ideal for an urban apiary as the bees can source a plethora of flowers and plants to make their honey.

He said: “This is a fantastic place for the bees. With this being the first ‘garden suburb’ and the proximity of Queen’s Park, this is foraging heaven for honey bees.

The hives were designed and painted by nursery and primary school pupils.

Once described as the ‘most exotic tram shelter in Glasgow’, the Battlefield Rest is one of best known buildings on the southside. The property, which was B-listed in 1981, was earmarked for demolition before owner Marco Giannasi bought the structure for a pound and extensively restored it.

Plan Bee also manages a number of urban hives for Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, also located in the heart of the city.