AN ACADEMIC who has studied the medicinal properties of bees for 25 years is hoping to set up a global research centre near his home in Goathland.

James Fearnley, an author on the properties of propolis, a natural antibiotic produced by bees, and founder of Nature’s Laboratory, a Whitby-based business which produces natural medicines from propolis under the brand of BeeVital, has teamed up with the University of Bradford in developing plans for an Apiceutical Research Centre.

He said: “The purpose is to develop a permanent laboratory where it is possible to carry out novel research into bee products, not just honey, but bees’ wax and pollen and a whole range of products which have medicinal benefits and to stimulate local production of these products in the North York Moors.”

Mr Fearnley has built a model of what the sustainable centre would look like and is in negotiations with the North York Moors National Park about building the centre on land he owns on the heathery moorland in Goathland.