WET weather failed to dampen spirits at the grand opening of a community apiary this weekend.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman and the town’s Mayor, Cllr Gerald Lee braved the driving rain to be guests of honour at the official opening of the new community apiary at the Bowling Dene park, off Widdowfield Street.

The opening was the culmination of months work by Darlington Beekeepers Association (DBKA), who have placed eight beehives on the defunct bowling green after Darlington Borough Council leased the land to them.

The association is also creating a wildflower meadow surrounding the apiary with help from Darlington Friends of the Earth.

Planting of the meadow has already begun, but it will take about three years for the flowers to establish themselves and begin to show.

The association is keen to involve the local community in the upkeep of the hives, and held an open day last weekend to allow visitors to borrow beekeeping suits to get up close and personal with the hives.

DBKA members were also on hand to answer questions and give advice on the art of beekeeping.

The association always welcomes new members.

For more information or to get involved with call 01325-315741 or email darlingtonbka@gmail.com