Young Beekeeper Program
Foundation Offers Assistance to States for Young Beekeeper Scholarship Programs
Several states are helping perpetuate our craft by encouraging young people to get involved in beekeeping. The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees is offering assistance to interested state beekeepers association by providing them with template forms they can use to initiate a Young Beekeeper Program of their own. In addition, the first five states to apply will be eligible for up to $200.00 assistance in matching funds to help with start-up expenses.
The Foundation Board of Trustees decided to provide this assistance after hearing from Tim Tucker about the Kansas State Beekeepers Association’s program. Tim is the mentor for their scholar as well as the salesman for the adoption of the program by other states. He provided the basic forms and guidelines that we have adapted to general use. And, he detailed the scholarship program in the June 2006 issue of The American Bee Journal.
The Foundation Trustees believe this program will get more young people interested in beekeeping as a hobby and profession and perhaps even create an interest in pursuing an education that could lead to a career in honey bee research.
The Foundation would appreciate your organization’s consideration of participating in the Young Beekeeper Scholarship Program in time to have your young beekeepers ready to start with their colony of bees next spring. You should return the enclosed application as soon as your association decides to participate. The first five associations to apply will be eligible for the matching $200.00.
An important aspect of the Young Beekeeper Program is to have a designated and willing mentor for each of the scholars. Guidelines and helpful information, prepared by Tim Tucker, are enclosed in this packet to help you in starting your state’s program. It is important that the mentor (or mentors) be selected when you approve the program so that the mentor can assist the officers or the board in implementing the scholarship program.
The Foundation board members believe this is an excellent opportunity to bring young people into our industry as well to expand the knowledge of bees in the community in which the scholar resides. We look forward to having a number of states join the Foundation in supporting this program.
To apply for the Young Beekeeper Program, the appropriate official of a state association should contact Troy Fore, Executive Director of the Foundation.