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Aberdeen Standard Investments sets up beehives near shopping center

Aberdeen Standard Investments has secured seven new homes across the U.K. for some unusual tenants — bees.

In an effort to boost biodiversity in the U.K., the money manager is making use of areas surrounding Roaring Meg Shopping Park, a retail park it owns in Stevenage, England.

The U.K. manager, which has about 40 billion ($52 billion) in real estate assets, installed two beehives on the retail site, in addition to hives in Central Park Estate, Hounslow, England; Thistles Shopping Centre, Stirling, Scotland; and Edinburgh.

Aberdeen Standard combined its environmental initiatives with its social projects to integrate Roaring Meg into the local community by allowing small groups to visit the beehives for educational experiences. "We're also looking to build stronger links with local schools and develop the woodland area as an educational resource," Aberdeen said in its latest sustainability report.

Dan Grandage, head of environmental social and governance, real estate, said the firm was looking for a way to contribute to the community. "Let's do something innovative to engage with the local community," Mr. Grandage said.

"Kids from schools in the area don't have access to external (green) space," he said.

"We also produce honey, sell it back to the community and sponsor a local wildlife charity from the sale," Mr. Grandage said.