They are more used to taking to the skies, but a group of air cadets proved their worth on the ground by digging in for a community project.
Members of the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) squadron offered their services to help plant a wildflower meadow at the Inchyra Grange Hotel in Polmont last week.
While the plants will be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike, the main reason for the planting was to prepare the ground for use as an apiary.
It’s the latest beekeeping project from members of The Helix community team, which encourages local people to learn the ancient skill and help sustain the bee population at a time when their numbers are in decline.
Ben Williams, who helped organise the project, said: “The Inchyra Grange Hotel is the first business to adopt beehives from the Helix beekeepers and hotel manager Brett Ingle was keen to provide his tiny new team members with as diverse a diet as possible.
“Brett was able to set aside some land on the hotel grounds to establish a wildlife meadow close to the beehives, which would provide much-needed pollen for the bees and other pollinators in the area.
“Under the guidance of volunteer Helix gardening expert Alistair Brown, a team from 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) squadron descended on the site with tools and plants to establish a colourful meadow in a matter of hours.
“With the wildflower meadow established, thousands of new bees can get to work producing honey which will be processed and sold in the hotel - with profits going to The Helix Beekepers to enable them to expand their apiary.”
A snowdrop garden was also planted in front of the hotel as part of a memory project organised by Strathcarron Hospice.