Hugh loved honey from a very early age. He started eating honeycomb along with it; so ravenously that the first time he accidentally swallowed a bee, he didn't notice until he felt it buzzing around in his stomach. Since it didn't seem to mind, he continued eating, and soon he "had a whole hive down there". He met Fiona when he went to find a field of blooming flowers for the bees to pollinate, and found her sleeping among the flowers.
In A Map of Days, he said that his father once sent him to a workhouse, where he had to make rope all day.
He is first seen in the dining hall. Hugh also went to the beach with Emma and some of the older kids. Later, Emma catches him and Fiona "snogging each other's faces off". After that encounter Hugh then notifies Emma and Jacob to report to the home due to Miss Avocet's arrival. When Horace and Enoch were teasing Olive and Claire, Hugh told them to leave them alone and sent his bees after them. Hugh was very concerned about Miss Peregrine after she had been captured, shouting at Enoch when Enoch was saying that their situation was hopeless.In Hollow City, it was confirmed that his full name is Hugh Apiston.
In the beginning of Hollow City, Hugh is in Jacob and Emma's boat and assists in the rowing. He brought with him a chucking doorknob that was blown off of Miss Peregrine's home. Unfortunately, he loses the memento when their luggage falls off of Bronwyn's boat.
He also has an emotional goodbye with Fiona when they have to leave her behind. Unfortunately, Hugh never said a proper good bye before Fiona meets her fate and is pushed off a cliff by the wights. (Fortunately they were reunited again in TCOTB.)
Hugh loses most of his bees when he commands them to sting on separate occasions: a group of wights (disguised as World War II British Home Guards) at an unknown bunker and civilians who mistook the peculiars as air bomb children evacuees at a London train station. He is left with a solitary bee, Henry, who sadly has a broken wing.
In the first event Hugh, by Jacob's account, summoned enough bees to block out the sun. Hugh had arrived at the nick of time to save his friends from certain death via soul stealing Wights, saving his imprisoned friends and the gypsies. By using all the bees in the nearby flower field, Hugh was able to swarm the wights and even sting them inside their bodies through their mouths.
In the graphic novel, Hugh is drawn wearing a bee keeper's net hat and a pair of goggles/sunglasses. He has black hair that is slicked back and commonly sports a white shirt and suspenders, his overall appearance strongly resembling his photograph A Boy and His Bees from the collection of Robert Jackson. In the film, he is portrayed by Milo Parker.
Hugh is very rash, and states his opinions very clearly. He is obviously proud of himself when he helps his friends in various situations. Hugh is very fond of Fiona. Hugh has an open mind to basically anything, and is very kind to all of his friends. He uses his abilities to aid the other peculiars, and is known to be very smart and witty at times. In TDODA Jacob notes that he is a ‘famously bad explainer of things’.
Bees live inside Hugh's stomach, that he protects and directs. Often, a few bees will fly out of his mouth each time he opens it. The bees only sting on command or when Hugh is upset. He can instruct any number of bees at a time, even using hundreds of them to attack. He controls them by imagining himself as one of them. While Hugh's peculiarity to control his bees is a useful weapon, the bees themselves are not peculiar. As all honeybees do, they'll die after stinging.
Aside from using the bees as a weapon, Hugh also provides shelter for his bees (in his stomach) and cares for them. He often pollinates his bees, usually using Fiona's flowers to do so. Hugh is very fond of his bees, and is heartbroken after using them to kill several wights and attack some civilians in Hollow City. He has also used his bees for spying, as he had one follow the wights that had taken his friends hostage. Hugh seemingly has named all his bees as well, as he refers to his sole remaining one-winged bee as Henry. He has to wear a beekeeping hat on at dinner to prevent them stinging people.
Like Olive and Claire, Hugh ate dinner at Miss Peregrine's under different circumstances due to his peculiarity. He eats under a large mosquito net at a separate table for just himself in the corner, most likely so that his bees do not interrupt the other children's meals.
Hugh and Fiona are what one would call 'soul mates'. Not only do they get along, but their peculiarities are quite similar. Hugh's bees pollinate Fiona's flowers. Hugh was heart broken when he heard the horrible truth that Fiona fell off of a cliff. Everyone told him that she is dead but he still had hope.
In Hollow City, Hugh is visibly saddened when Fiona volunteers to stay back with Claire in Miss Wren's Menagerie. The two share in an affectionate goodbye by Fiona growing roses between them for Hugh's bees to pollinate. When Hugh catches the others staring at them, he sheepishly cuts the goodbye short.
Their relationship is an example of dramatic irony due to the joint connection between their abilities. Fiona posesses the ability to produce flowers (along with other vegetation) which attract bees (Hugh's ability to contain and control them with his body and mind).
Also in Hollow City, Hugh reveals that he met Fiona after she was chased out of her village and fell asleep in a field of flowers. He discovered her while he was taking his bees there to pollinate.
Near to the conclusion of Library of Souls, Hugh refuses to believe that Fiona had perished during her fight with the Wights at the menagerie. He clings to the hope that she is still alive and wandering in nature. He hopes to find her and believes that someday, she'll just turn up. The loss had impacted him much but he is still very hopeful of seeing her again when some are doubtful. Such is the hope of true love.
In The Conference of the Birds, he is finally reunited with her. He scoops her into his arms after the battle against Murnau and carries her by himself, refusing to let her go until the ymbrynes persuade him to so they can examine her.
Millard and Hugh can be seen as friends. They play ball together in the movie, although Hugh uses his bees to cheat when Millard takes the ball, and the two quarrel.
- Hugh has a one-winged bee whom he named "Henry."
- Hugh has discovered his peculiar abilities at age 5 while eating large amounts of honey and honeycomb when he "swallowed" a bee.
- The inside of his body is a living beehive.
- He not only has the ability to controls bees, but can also sense their minds.
- It is possible that he can control other Hymenopteran insects since hornets and bumblebees were also among the bees he used to kill the wights.
- He found the doorknob from the house in Miss Peregrine's loop lying in the grass and brought it along on the rowboat journey. It was lost at sea along with most of the other items the children had on the rowboats.
- He makes an appearance in the first Hollow City book trailer
- In Ransom Riggs' post in his Tumblr Acc. on the month of May calendar picture, it states that Hugh's birthday is on the 15th.
- In the book, Hugh eats at a separate table from the others, but in the film and graphic novel he sits with everyone else, beside Olive.