About the 4-H Beekeeping Project
Have you heard the phrase “as busy as a bee”? Bees are known to be very busy creatures who are at least partly responsible for honey, beautiful plants, and delicious fruits and vegetables. Learn all about beekeeping, 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 and 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.
Contact the Marion County 4-H office:
Beekeeping Project Manuals
You can learn more about beekeeping by completing one of the project activity guides. Unlike other projects, beekeeping is not age or grade level specific. However, there are different levels based on how many years you have done the project, which include different poster topics or different skills/products that can be displayed.
- Beekeeping I: Learning About Beekeeping
- Beekeeping II: Working with Honey bees
- Beekeeping III: Advanced Beekeeping
- Beekeeping Facilitator’s Guide
Project manuals may also be available to purchase at the Marion County Extension office, and older editions of manuals (if available) are free. Contact us to ask about availability!
Keep track of what you learn using a beekeeping record sheet:
- Beekeeping Record Sheet: Division I
- Beekeeping Record Sheet: Division II
- Beekeeping Record Sheet: Advanced
- Entomology Independent Study Record Sheet (Advanced)
- Entomology Independent Study Record Sheet (Mentoring)
Showcasing What You’ve Learned
You can create a project exhibit to showcase what you’ve learned while working on your project. Project exhibits are submitted for judging at the annual Marion County 4-H Showcase.
- Beekeeping project exhibit guidelines for 4-H members grades 3-12. Note that Level 1 is a poster and does not include extracted honey, chunk honey, or cut comb honey displays.
- Marion County 4-H poster exhibit guidelines and tips
- A reference list must be included with your poster.
- Beekeeping Poster Score Card
- Chunk Honey Score Card
- Cut or Section Comb Score Card
- Extracted Honey Score Card
Advancing to the State Fair
- Yes! Beekeeping project exhibits from 4-H members grades 3 and up may advance to the State Fair.
Cloverbuds (Grades K-2)
- Learn about products that we get from bees and how they are beneficial, then make a poster, notebook, or even something from beeswax to show what you learned!
- Cloverbud projects are for exhibition only (not judged), so there are no score cards, and exhibits are not eligible to advance to the State Fair.
More Beekeeping Project Resources
Recommended Resource Books
- Honey Bee Biology & Beekeeping by Dewey Caron with Lawrence Connor
- Bee-entails: A Field Guide by Lawrence Connor
- BeeCabulary Essentials by Andrew Connor
- The Biology of the Honeybee by Mark L. Winston
- Indiana 4-H’s Beekeeping project page
- 4-H Beekeeping Poster Exhibit Judging Video
- National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest
- PerfectBee.com - free introductory online beekeeping course