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Beekeeping (Indiana 4-H)

This project will help youth learn about bees and how to raise domestic bees. You will learn about the types of bees, the honey and wax they produce, the plants that attract bees, and the equipment a beekeeper needs. If you want to set up your own hive, you’ll learn basic beehive care, how to extract and bottle honey. Advanced topics include: increasing the number of your honey bee colonies, increasing honey production, producing special kinds of honey, and learning more about bee societies.

Exhibit pictures

Exhibit note: If you exhibit honey, judges will evaluate its color, body, flavor, uniformity of weight and appearance, clarity, moisture content, crystals, and freedom from contamination. Judges will also evaluate the neatness of the container.

Questions and Answers (FAQs)

4-H Beekeeping manuals, online only from The Education Store, www.edustore.purdue.edu. Click on "4-H Youth Development" on the left of the home page and then click on "4-H Beekeeping."

The Bee Hive (Dr. G. Hunt, Purdue University, Department of Entomology)

  • June, 2015: Honeybee die-off less severe this year
    The honeybee population appears to have survived the winter in better shape than a year ago, but still faces several significant threats, according to Greg Hunt, professor of entomology and honeybee specialist.  After the brutally cold, wet winter of 2013-14 in much of the U.S., observers reported one of the largest bee die-offs ever recorded, with a mortality rate of about 65 percent for Indiana. Based on his primary investigation and discussions with beekeepers, Hunt estimated this year's losses at about 29 percent. Honeybees are essential to agriculture because they pollinate food plants such as fruits, nuts and vegetables. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honeybee pollination is worth about $15 billion a year in crop production. But the honeybee population has been declining for years, with the U.S. losing about one-third of its hives annually, Hunt said. Full story: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2015/Q2/honeybee-die-off-less-severe-this-year-.html


  • Honey Judging video
  • The New Starting Right with Bees (Catalog #924) book is available from the publisher, A.I. Root, at (800) 233-7929 or A.I. Root, 623 West Liberty, Medina, OH, 44256. Please note that the 2004 price was $8.75.
  • Purdue’s Beehive website
  • The Foundation for The Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. website
  • The American Beekeeping Federation website
  • Are Agriculture's Most Popular Insecticides Killing Our Bees?, NPR Story, March, 2013
  • The Value of Honey Bees as Pollinators of U.S. Crops in 2000


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