FORTY-thousand furry new arrivals have been causing a buzz at one of Oxford's most prestigious boarding schools.

As part of a project to teach children the importance of pollination, St Edward's School took delivery of four hives' worth of honey bees on Wednesday afternoon.

The Victorian school on Woodstock Road, which charges £11,890 a term, is also planning to sell the honey to make a sweet little profit.

The scheme was the brainchild of Teddies teacher David Aldred, who said pupils had a lot to learn from the little insects.

That includes learning how to build beehives – the ones at St Edward's were built by pupils Afiq Rozhan, Guy Moss, Nikita Radkevitch and Gurinder Singh.

Nikita said: "The experience has really opened my eyes to how important bees are to the world we live in. It’s also great fun to do with friends."

Isabel Aldred, who also happens to be Mr Aldred's daughter, added: "I'm looking forward to learning more about bees and will enjoy the honey too."

The hives have been installed in an apiary on an area of the school’s grounds known as Snake Island, next to the Oxford Canal.

The 'bee team' are hoping that most of the honey they collected from the hives will be used by the school catering department, with additional produce sold by the school.

A new beekeeping society will shortly be set up to teach and promote the ancient art.

A competition will also be launched among the pupil body to design the new Teddies Honey labels.

Mr Aldred, who collected the bees himself from Newbury on Wednesday afternoon, said: "We have a lot to learn from the bees, from the way they organise their society, and build their colonies, to their collective intelligence and instinct for survival, as well as the magical properties of honey which is healing and believed to be immortal. "Beekeeping has been taking place for thousands of years; it's great to be able to share the experience of this ancient art with the next generation of beekeepers."

St Edward's, founded in 1863 by the Reverend Thomas Chamberlain, Honorary Canon of Christ Church Oxford, now has overseas pupils from more than 35 countries.