Review – I have received a wonderful review of my story Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow

I have been very lucky in that the Devon Beekeepers Association has reviewed my story and written some really nice words about it.

Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow by Paul Noel

“A bee story for children” – that was the description sent with Paul Noel’s book, “Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow”, and on the face of it that’s exactly what it is. A tale with an intrepid honey bee called Beatriz at its core, ready and willing to use her intelligence and super-fast flight in the battle against the enemy – those who would seek to destroy the natural habitat of the field she calls home, together with her fellow creatures that also live there.

Yet it’s more than ‘a bee story for children’, for while they will love the heroic antics of Beatriz, or ‘Bea’ to everyone who knows her, adults will find characters familiar to them too – officious bureaucrats, eager nature-loving campaigners, boffins, dastardly developers and potentially wicked planners! The turning point when all the humans and animals come together is a joyous highlight!

No doubt we’ve all heard of a field that is ripe for necessary development and Paul Noel’s fantasy is one that we can easily follow and understand. While the drama and the suspense gives joy to younger listeners and readers, it represents important issues raised by the need for more homes and the conflict between those building houses and those passionate about protecting the natural environment.

As ever with children’s books you get most out of the story by suspending your disbelief and remembering that it’s simply a story to entertain and not provide a full education of the lifecycle of the honeybee and its behaviour in the hive and in the field – there are plenty of less exciting books, which are designed to give real insight to those of us who are interested in bee facts. “Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow” doesn’t ignore general bee behaviour, but it’s full of fun and allows the imagination to take over, helped along with drawings that reflect the overall upbeat feel. The pictures are ideal for children to colour in, making it even more entertaining and better value.

Any beekeeper, indeed any adult, will not be bored if they find themselves reading the story of Bea trying to save her meadow. Just one question remains, what might Bea do next for surely “Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow” is the first of a series?

Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation Support

In the UK I am in the process of getting contracts with these two charities and therefore will be donating a percentage of sales from any of our items for sale on our website to them. The initial product that I approached them with was my story Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow. This is available as a pdf on our website and for the Kindle and a printed book from Amazon. Below is a synopsis and some artwork. If you need further information about any of our products please don’t hesitate to ask.

Bea Bee is the most resourceful, hardest working and happiest bee living in a hive located in a beautiful meadow. One day she notices a new sign on the gate and goes back to the hive to get wise old bee to come to the gate with her and read the notice as she doesn’t understand all the words. The news is bad; the sign is for a planning application to build houses all over the meadow. Wise Old Bee suggests that only if a rare or endangered species is found in the meadow is there a chance that the meadow can be saved. Bea suggests a wild idea on how to save the meadow from this happening. If they don’t then they are going to have to move the hive.

Her plan is fairly simple. There are some red flowers down near the stream that produce some fairly sticky pollen and she thinks that if she disguises herself as a red bee people will believe that there is a new species of bee. At least it will give the bees time to find out if there is a rare or endangered species in the meadow. Time to tell the Queen about the problem and also a possible solution.

Bea tries out the deception on two young people camping in the meadow and they take several photographs that they load onto social media. Bea has started a series of events that she is unaware of. Two teams are set up, some normal bees to keep a lookout on when visitors are coming and a “red” team to sow the story and keep each other from being caught. They will now try and convince other people but will experts believe them?

Can Bea’s plan and her friends from the meadow find a way to save it from being built on?


Consumer Choice – Do You Really Have One in Today’s Climate of Austerity?

Some of us remember the good old days.Must be I’m getting old. When did buying soap involve it being wrapped in plastic that then finds its way into the oceans and we end up eating it because it is now in the salt, tuna and the anchovies that for some reason we feed to chickens and pigs?

The environment isn’t the only thing that is screwed. Why is it cheaper to end up eating plastic then to buy the soap unwrapped? Because this is the way that multinational corporates do business. I always thought that they were no good for us and how much proof do we need.

We did buy this soap at Planet Organic on Saturday. How did we get it home? I put it in my backpack. It made it smell nice but I suppose with a bit of thought I could have taken a bag with me to stop that happening. Unfortunately, Faith in Nature is quite expensive compared to the corporately wrapped soap in the corporate supermarket. You can see where I’m going with this. So for all those people just about scraping by they have to purchase the soap in the supermarket and eventually they and their children will be eating the wrapping. What great progress we have made as a species.

Obese urban sprawl endangers nature

If you look at the last 50 years or so you can see where we went wrong in the UK. Instead of tall garden cities where the air is clean and people walk, cycle or use public transport to move around, we have an obese urban sprawl that often reflects the waistlines of many of the people. Where we should have built up, we have built out. More little boxes, more sterile patches of mown grass, more roads and of course more cars. Our whole economy is geared to producing more and consuming more in an ever increasing attack on the diversity of nature. Whereas we could plan and work near we live everybody needs a car to get a decent job. Just check the motorways on any given morning. This pollution and waste of people’s lives could have all been avoided if we had designed a better built environment. If we are not careful our country may still be green but a green dessert devoid of diversity.

Mammals under threat in the UK




Butterfly, Iguaçu, Brasil

Not the most colourful butterfly you can see in the stunning waterfalls of Iguaçu but still very pretty with its delicate pattern. We took this photograph some years ago when we visited Iguazu Falls with some friends from Paraguay. Copyright Paul Andrews and Caroline Schmutz, Junagarh Media.

Junagarh Media

We are more than likely looking at a human cause for the death of the mighty Baobab.

How many more signals do we need to understand that humanity is desecrating this amazing planet?

Guardian article on Baobab tree deaths


National Geographic article on microplastics

We have had 200 years of “progress” as it is called since the start of the industrial revolution. Where has that progress got us? To the point where microplastics pollute every source of water and are entering the food chain and starting to enter our own bodies. What will be the long term effects of us digesting plastic? Now that we know these tiny particles are everywhere shouldn’t we be doing something about it instead of just saying, “Oh well”?


National Geographic article



Pollution appears to be affecting fungi that are vital for our trees

The more we discover the more we understand the connections between the life support systems that keep our world livable for not just other live but ourselves as well. It may well be that pollution is affecting the fungi that supply the trees in our forests with minerals and water.

Pollution hits fungi