Hugo the Bee: Norwich school children’s book creates a buzz

Beelieve - From left, Zo� Blacklock, Akshaya Khurana, Abi Davis, Ruhi Chitre, Alex Knight, Thea Curs

Beelieve - From left, Zo� Blacklock, Akshaya Khurana, Abi Davis, Ruhi Chitre, Alex Knight, Thea Curson. Picture: Norwich High School for Girls - Credit: Norwich High School for Girls

Pupils from a Norwich school have created a children's story book aimed at raising awareness of the decline in bees.

The book, titled Hugo the Bee, has been created by a team of six pupils, aged 16 and 17, from Norwich High School for Girls as part of the Young Enterprise Project.

The book tells the story of a bee called Hugo who wanted to play in the park but is warned by his grandma to be careful, as people are scared of them.

It also includes a range of bee facts and recipes involving honey.

The team decided it wanted to create a social enterprise that balanced making a difference to the community, while still being a commercial success.

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Student Alex Knight said: 'We knew that there were issues around bees but didn't realise the full extent of their decline until starting this project.

'We know that bees are particularly vulnerable in Norfolk, so wanted to do something to help.'

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The girls created a company called Beelieve in which they designed and made products to sell. The first product was a Save the Bees Kit consisting of honey from East Anglia, a wooden honey dipper, bee-friendly wild seeds, organic beeswax lip balm and a useful fact sheet. These were sold at fairs along with related honey based treats.

The team decided to put money raised for the Bee Kits to create Hugo the Bee.

Student Ruhi Chitre created the poem for the book while working with Abi Davis who illustrated it.

And student Akshaya Khurana said: 'We have almost sold all of the original 200 copies printed and will be ordering more for upcoming events. We would love to take our social enterprise nationwide and educate children across the country.'

Kirsty von Malaisé, headmistress of Norwich High School for Girls, said: 'It has been inspiring to see how much of an impact the team has made with this new venture. Their enterprise has grown significantly in such a small amount of time. I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop.'

The girls have set up a web site that they hope they will be able to sell their products from in the future. More children books are also being planned.

Beelieve have made it through to the Young Enterprise Norfolk Final which takes place at the UEA on May 26.

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