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Beekeeping program offered by Penn State Extension through 4-H

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‘Isn’t it funny that a bear likes honey? Fuss! Fuss! Fuss! I wonder why he does that?” asks that famous bear, Winnie the Pooh. Perhaps the answer is provided in part by the Bee Conservancy, which reminds us that one in three bites of food is pollinated by bees. There are great opportunities for the 8 to 18 age group (starting January 1) as the Monroe County 4-H community begins its Beekeeping Club on May 18.

Bees are at the core of our survival. Not only do they pollinate much of the food we eat, but they also pollinate 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants. Bees are an essential part of our agriculture and pollinate many fruits, nuts and vegetables. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, more than half of North America’s 4,000 native bee species are in decline. And in addition, one in four is threatened with extinction. The loss of the honey bee would have a direct impact on food security around the world.

This 4-H Club meets at the Middle Smithfield Township Community Gardens Park on Coolbaugh Road in Middle Smithfield Township. Those who join the group learn about bees and how they produce their honey and wax, as well as what types of plants attract bees and what equipment a beekeeper needs. Also important information, such as which pests or diseases can affect a beehive.

The first meeting is on Saturday, May 18 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. There will be an introduction to 4-H and controlling the bees. Future meetings will be held on June 8, July 20, August 10, September 8 and October 5. The cost is $20 for current 4-H members (this includes club T-shirt) and $50 for new members (this includes the annual 4-H registration fee and club T-shirt).

For safety reasons, it is important for participants to wear proper clothing. Participants must wear long, loose-fitting pants (no leggings or shorts), closed-toed shoes (no Crocs or sandals), and definitely long socks!

Penn State Extension offers this program through 4-H. The Penn State Extension is an extension of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. There is an extension office in each province of the Commonwealth.

For those unfamiliar with 4-H and how it can be a great organization for ages 8 to 18, here is some information about this great organization. The four H’s (head-heart-hands-health) originated in the early 20th century as ‘square education’ and aim to promote the positive development of young people, facilitate learning and engage young people in the work of their community through the Cooperative Extension Service to enhance youth development. the quality of life.

The 4-H flag consists of a green clover with four leaves on a white background. The clover has a letter “H” in metallic or metallic gold on each leaf. The H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

Explained further, HEAD: problem solving and the ability to solve complex problems. HEART: Focused on emotional development and developing a good attitude towards work and learning, as well as developing acceptance and appreciation of other people. HANDS: Development of skills and ability to do, skill in doing and habit of doing. And finally HEALTH: Physical development and understanding and appreciation of a growing and changing body.

Perhaps the 4-H Pledge sums it up best: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to greater service, and my health to a better life, for my club, my community, my country, and my health. my world.”

4-H clubs offer a variety of programs. History has shown that 4-H members are four times more likely to give back to their community, twice as likely to make healthy choices, and twice as likely to participate in STEM (science) activities , technology, engineering and mathematics).

For more information about 4-H, contact: Penn State Extension-Monroe County 4-H, 724 Phillips St., Suite 201, Stroudsburg. Phone: 570-421-7010. Email: [email protected]. For more information about 4-H Beekeeping, contact [email protected].

Debbie Kulick is an EMT who writes a weekly news column for the Pocono Record.