Students buzzing about community scheme
Manurewa High School and the Manurewa-based Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust are working together on a honey of a scheme, which could see live beehives introduced to local schools.
Ohu (which means Working Bee in Te Reo Maori) is a company run by a group of Manurewa High School students whose business idea saw them reach the regional ‘Dragon’s Den’ final, part of the Lion Foundation’s Young Enterprise Scheme. After the competition ended the students were so passionate about their idea that they decided to continue running their business within the local community.
Ohu’s business objective is to educate the community about the importance of bees. The idea arose after the students visited an environmental education event called ‘Eye On Nature’ run by the Manukau Beautification Trust earlier this year. At the event, students learned that bees are vital to our society and economy, and that their numbers are in decline. The students decided to start up a business which would educate people about bees, encourage communities to plant more bee friendly flowers and to lose their fear of bees.
Ohu’s focus is on helping healthy bees. At Eye On Nature the students learned that bees are in decline due to sickness, hunger and chemical poisoning. They decided that one area they could make a difference was in bee nutrition. This had a spin-off benefit of improving community nutrition - honey is a good natural substitute for sugar.
As a tool to connect with their community, the students are selling raw, multi-floral "BeeSweet Honey". Ohu plans to supply a free sachet of seeds with every purchase to encourage people to plant more flowers to help feed hungry bees. A free educational pamphlet will also come with each jar of honey sold.
The students presented their ideas to the Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust, who were so impressed by the student’s passion and business acumen that they have given the business a financial start-up grant and donated 15kgs of their own honey. Together the Trust and Ohu hope to implement a scheme which will see beehives installed in local schools, starting with Manurewa High School. The hives will be situated within an enclosed area to ensure the safety of both bees and students.
Ohu will also run community flower planting events later this year.
Ohu will be selling their honey at upcoming community events, at the Auckland Food Show 1-4 August, and the Sylvia Park Trade Fair on 7 September. If you would like to become involved, you can find them here:
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