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Camp teaches kids about beekeeping

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Trey Ormond, 12, holds a hive frame Monday at the Nash County 4-H Beekeeping Camp at the Nash County Agriculture Center in Nashville.

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BY SPENCER CARNEY
Telegram Correspondent

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

NASHVILLE — This year is the first year that 4-H has hosted a beekeeping camp in Nash County.

The program lasted for two days, for three hours both days. Its purpose was to teach kids about bees and how vital they are to everyday life, as well as to just get them interested in beekeeping.

“Two kids in the camp already have their own beehives,” said Amy Orland, 4-H program assistant “At the beginning of each year, around March, Farm Bureau has a beekeeping grant kids can apply for to help them start their own business.”

She added that seven kids received the grant in the past year.

As pollinators, honeybees are vital to the planet. Food such as cucumbers, chocolate, watermelon, strawberries and many more are dependent on bees spreading pollen around.

Unfortunately, honeybee numbers are dwindling. If they die out completely, a lot of the food people eat every day will cease to exist as well. But Twin Counties residents can help keep the honeybees alive.

“More hobby bee hives would be great,” Horticulture Extension Agent Matthew Stevens said. “If not, plant a diversity of flowers and be smart about pesticide application. Use ones that are low in toxicity, and try not to use them as much as possible.”

For people who want to get in to beekeeping, either as a hobby or professionally, Stevens said that they can go to a Beekeeper’s Club meeting, where the people are usually very experienced and willing to help new members by sharing their knowledge and sometimes their old equipment.

“There’s definitely a solid support system,” he said.

District Conservationist Terry Best said he signed his daughter Martha up for the camp because he is interested in beekeeping and wanted her to be interested in it as well.

“Anytime we can get our young people to learn anything about conservation, preservation, sustainability and agriculture is a plus,” Best said. “They need to know that there is an ecosystem out there, and how to protect and preserve it.”

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