MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Starkville eighth-grader won first place at the state level and second place at the national level of a 4-H writing competition with his essay about beekeeping during colonial times.
Garrett Smith, a 4-H member and student at Starkville Academy, said he was inspired to enter the 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest after he toured Mississippi State University’s entomology lab with his little brother’s Clover Dawgs 4-H club.
“I became more interested in entomology after the tour,” Smith said. “I learned a lot about the history of beekeeping while doing online research for the essay. I downloaded a book because there isn’t a lot of information about beekeeping in colonial times online.”
Smith said he found it interesting to learn that honeybees are not native to the U.S. He also learned to appreciate the contribution bees make by pollinating crops.
“I now know to think twice before swatting a bee,” he wrote in his essay.
On May 7, MSU Extension Service beekeeping specialist Jeff Harris presented Smith with $100 from the Mississippi Beekeepers Association for his state-level award and $500 and a book about beekeeping for his national-level award. Smith will receive a plaque and read his essay at the state beekeeping conference in the fall.
The national 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest is sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees and the American Beekeeping Federation.