The Boyscouts of America years ago had the Beekeeping Merit Badge. It was discontinued in 1995. I suspect the reason was due to not a lot of Scouts were earning it.
In the past few years the plight of Honey Bee’s is making the news more and more. In Wilsonville, Oregon (very close to me) 50,000 bees were killed due to pesticides. There are also several Boy Scouts who would like to see this Merit Badge get reinstated. This includes Shawn Heston from Utah.
The Boy Scouts of America apparently has listened. In their Summer Advancement News Release, they make this comment:
” In recent years, Scouts and Scouters have expressed a desire for the Beekeeping merit badge to be reinstated. They have been concerned about the vital role bees play in our ecosystem and that Scouts seem increasingly unaware of the problems honeybees face today. After a great deal of research and consideration, much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons will soon be incorporated into several existing badges. Those affected include Environmental Science, Forestry, Gardening, Insect Study, Nature, and Plant Science. As a result, more Scouts will be exposed to honeybee issues than if the merit badge were reinstated. Look for more information this fall.”
To me, this is great news. If the Scouts avail themselves to learn more about Bees, it will help them appreciate and understand more about Nature and how we benefit from it.
On a personal note, my recently found High School Classmate (via Facebook) Doug Hornaday from Montana and his wife, Jan will be honored on October 5th 2013 for their work in creating a pesticide free neighborhood. They set-up a bee farm and educated their neighborhood in Eugene, Or about being pesticide free. Because of their work they are both being awarded the Rachel Carson Award. Yes, Doug was a Scout growing up. He attained the rank of Life. He is a direct descendent of William Hornaday. William Hornaday’s life work is extensive within conservation and Nature.
Congrats to Doug and his Wife Jen and to the Boy Scouts for their efforts in educating people about Bees!