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Honey Bee Project

Honey Bee Project

Welcome to our NEW 4-H Project under the Natural Resources Program area! 

Overview

One component of a South Carolina 4-H Pollinator Program, the Honey Bee Project is an independent-study project that engages youth (ages 5-18 years) in the active role of beekeeping, learning the basics of entomology, and gaining an appreciation for the role of pollinators in our world.

Project Registration

  • 2018 registration opens December 1, 2017 - REGISTER HERE!!!  The first 50 participants that register get a special surprise!!! 
  • Registration closes Friday, February 2, 2018 at 11:30 pm.
  • Open to all South Carolina youth 5-18 years of age, as of January 1, 2018.  
  • Cost is $40 for current 4-H members, $50 for non-members.  

Timeline for 2018 Project (runs March - August)

  • Friday, February 2nd:  Your registration and payment must be received by 4-H.  Register here.
    • Project materials should be available for pick up at your local Extension Office by March 1, 2018.
  • Saturday, March 10th: A Honey Bee Project Kickoff with Hive-building tutorial will be offered (time and location TBA).  It is not mandatory to attend.  If you register for the project, we will contact you with additional information about the kickoff.
  • Tuesday, May 1st:  Your hive must be installed in the apiary you will use.  (Hives can be moved during the project, but you must have your hive and begin records no later than May 1st!)
  • Friday, August 3rd:  Your record book with completed evaluation must be turned into your local Extension Office, received by your local 4-H Agent.

Objectives

The objectives of the South Carolina 4-H Honey Bee project are that youth will:

  • Set goals and plan activities and strategies to achieve those outcomes, even in the face of challenges.
  • Reflect on their yearly work by documenting their skill development and learning experiences.
  • Give back to their communities through educational and service activities.
  • Learn valuable skills in record keeping, financial management, and communication.
  • Become good stewards of the environment and gain technical expertise that can promote beneficial practices.

Guidelines

  • Age Divisions: (all ages are as of January 1, 2018)Each youth will receive 2 copies of the project record book.  One may be used as a draft copy and the other may serve as the final product that is turned in at the end of the project.  Only ONE record book can be submitted for each participant.
    • Cloverbud, 5-8 years of age
    • Junior, 9-13 years of age
    • Senior, 14-18 years of age
  • We understand that beekeeping often requires the management of multiple colonies or hives.  We encourage this, but only want youth to report on ONE managed colony during the project season. (You are responsible for providing your own bees and equipment for this project.  If you need assistance with this, contact your local 4-H Agent or beekeeping association.) 

Links to additional resources:

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does this project involve?

Youth will be supplied with a record book and a few supplementary materials that will help get them started.  Youth will be responsible for managing a colony of bees and recording their efforts in their record book.  Record books have been specifically designed for each age division.  At the end of the project, youth will submit their record book for judging at the county level.  County-winning record books in the Junior and Senior age divisions will advance to the regional- and state-level for judging. 

Do 4-H'ers have to own their own bees to participate in this project?

No, youth do not have to own the bees, hive/equipment, or land the bees are managed on to participate in this project.  Youth simply need to be responsible for managing a colony of bees and recording their efforts (setting goals, making decisions, learning, etc.).  

What does a 4-H'er need to participate in this project?

Youth need access to beekeeping equipment, a colony of bees to work with, and an experienced beekeeper to help them.  While we do not have a formal structure or requirement for a mentor system, we strongly recommend for youth to work with someone who is knowledgeable about managing bees.  This will help them "bee" successful and have more fun!!!  Contact your local beekeepers association or County Extension Office if you need help making contacts.  

What if we don't know anything about bees, can we still enroll in this project?

YES!!!  This project is designed to be a learning experience and provide flexible opportunities to engage in the active role of beekeeping and hive management.  Based on the level of interest after registration closes, we will offer a kick-off tutorial and hive-building workshop!  Your local beekeeping association and County Extension Office should serve as a good resource for you.

For more information, contact:

Ashley Burns at taberp@clemson.edu 

2017 Project Newsletters

Related Articles: 

Honey Bee Project Regional & State Winners

2017 Project Year

Junior

Upstate Ansley Callahan Pickens County
Midlands Wilson Oxner Lexington County State Winner!!!
Pee Dee William Howard Florence County
Savannah Valley Luanne Plemmons Charleston County
Senior
Upstate Megan Farrell Greenwood County
Midlands William Howard Florence County
Pee Dee Peter Pendleton Horry County
Savannah Valley Margot Plemmons Charleston County State Winner!!!