BVBeeks Youth Scholarship Program
Developing future generations of beekeepers was a primary goal of the BVBeeks from the very first organizational meeting (before we even became an "official" club). A major part of resources, effort, and education is dedicated by the association to help get youth involved and committed to the hobby of beekeeping. The club uses its network and resources to reach out to new beekeeping families that will learn about beekeeping and become actively involved in maintaining and learning about bee colonies.
This is a 2 year program that is basically broken down into 3 steps:
- Sept - April is a series of monthly classroom sessions & field trips designed to give the apprentices a solid foundation and understanding into the art of beekeeping. During this phase each student will receive a book on beginning beekeeping and use of protective beekeeping clothing as needed.
- Approximately sometime in April the participants who have completed Phase 1 will be awarded their own complete beehive. They will be assigned a mentor who will guide them through the process of becoming a beekeeper, helping them manage their new hive through the first "bee year" (April - March of the following year).
- At the beginning of the 2nd year, the first set of students will be expected to begin to participate in the parent club activities - including giving a presentation on their hive and what they have learned over the past year. They are also expected to act as a mentor to the next year's class of students. In approximately April of their 2nd year, the students will be awarded a 2nd beehive setup and "split" their first hive - giving them 2 functioning hives. Second year students will also be given to take the Apprentice Master Beekeeper exam (a state-wide certification).
The scholarship is for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are residents of the "Brazos Valley area". The primary focus of this scholarship to involve families that are either not involved in beekeeping, or are new to beekeeping.
Expected commitment from program participants (and their parents)
As was stated above, the BVBeeks organization is willing to devote significant time and resources to help youth become beekeepers. In order for us to commit these resources, we do have some expectations of a commitment from the scholarship recipients (and their parents).
- The program is affiliated with the Brazos County 4H (as a "spin" club). As such, the kids involved will need to join Brazos County 4H, if you're not already a member (this will cost $25/year per family).
- Join the Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association (this is also $25/year per family).
- The classroom sessions will be held once a month, on the same date as the parent club meetings (3rd Tuesday of the month, at 5:30pm). We will do our best to make these classroom sessions interesting and engaging. The students are expected to make at least 75% of the classroom sessions.
- The field trips are usually scheduled for a Saturday when both the weather and bees are cooperating. While we do expect the students to attend these field trips, we can make allowances for students who can get "field time" experience from other beekeepers/mentors.
- Participate in the BVBeeks "fall beekeeping school", scheduled for Saturday, Sept 23, 2017. This school is the major fundraiser supporting the youth program.
While the parents are not required to attend these, they are strongly encouraged to do so.
Finally, graduating seniors who complete this program will become eligible for a cash scholarship award. The award will be determined by the BVBeeks Board of Directors each year, both in determining the amount of the amount and the recipients.
Interested students (and their parents) should fill out the Application Form. The form may be emailed to the program director or printed and given in person, but should be turned in no later than Tuesday, August 1, 2017. For any questions regarding the youth scholarships, please email your questions to: YouthDirector@bvbeeks.org