Kermit Holshouser 4-H Jr. Beekeeping Project 2023
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Have you heard the buzz about 4-H Jr. Beekeeping?
The Burke County 4-H Jr. Beekeeper program provides a safe, hands-on environment for youth to learn about the exciting world of honey bees and the skill beekeeping. It also provides an opportunity to make new friends and to share ideas about this important interest.
Through an application process, Burke County youth (ages 8-18) are chosen each year to participate in the Burke County 4-H Jr. Beekeeping program. This 4-H project is sponsored by Farm Bureau, Burke County Beekeepers Association, N. C. Cooperative Extension and Burke County 4-H. The founding collaborator, Mr. Kermit Holshouser, was instrumental in visioning and strengthening this program to benefit our county and art of beekeeping. The program is now named after him and will continue to grow and support his vision. During the calendar year-long program, youth will be partnered with a 4-H volunteer-mentor from the Burke County Beekeepers Association to help oversee the care of the bees, assist in hive building and be an expert contact to learn from. Youth will attend quarterly 4-H workshops to learn more about bees, habitats, and stewardship. Workshops are designed to fit the age-appropriate needs of the youth in each year’s program and use 4-H beekeeping curriculum to enrich the learning experience.
When you mention honey bees, most people immediately think of honey. Each year, North Carolina bees, with some assistance from their beekeepers, produce honey valued at approximately $15 million. As important as honey production is to our economy, honey bees provide an even greater contribution to our health and well-being through their service as pollinators. Honey bees are the most important pollinator of crops grown in North Carolina. According to the most recent data, honey bees in North Carolina directly accounted for $96 million in annual fruit and vegetable production and approximately $186 million in total annual crop productivity. Approximately one-third of all the food Americans eat is directly or indirectly provided by honey bee pollination.
Through the education, training and mentoring of 4-H Beekeepers’ members, we hope to foster increased interest in beekeeping, respect for the role honey bees play in nature and our economy, and help ensure the continued existence of bees and beekeeping in Burke County.
Deadline to apply is February 17, 2023.