4-H beeBee An Ambassador!

2018 is the year of the bee in Kentucky 4-H! We are celebrating by emphasizing pollinator programming at the County Level. And not just bees... butterflies too! Want to take kids on a pollinator hike? Want to install a butterfly garden? How about a series of honey-themed baking lessons? This is the year to do it, and here are some resources to get you started!

The Place to Bee - Certified Bee Ambassador Program

Is your extension office ready to pollinate at the next level? Then take the 4-H Bee Ambassdor Challenge! If your office participates in a certain number of pollinator-related activties during the 2017-2018 season, your office will be the "Place to Bee" for clients who want to learn more about bees and their pollinating cousins. To participate, download the 4-H Bee Ambassador Program manual below, and also a copy of the entry form which allows you to document your pollinattion-related activties. The manual contains multiple activties that can be used throughout the year to introduce youth to many aspects of bees and pollination, including pollinator habitats, honey tasting, and pollinator adaptations. 

4-H Bee Ambassador Program Manual (PDF)

4-H Bee Ambassador Entry Form for Completed Activities (PDF)

Help us to shape the 4-H Bee Ambassador Program!

Since this is the pilot year for the program, agents can help us by downloading and completing the Agent Review Form.

4-H Bee Ambassador Program: Agent Review Form (PDF)


Ashley Osborne (4-H Extension Specialist, Natural Resources) and Blake Newton (Extension Specialist, Entomology) hosted a webinar for Kentucky 4-H Agents on Sept 6, 2017 to introduce the 4-H Bee Ambassador Program. View the recorded webinar here: https://vimeo.com/232709749


4-H St. Fair Projects

The annual honey contest is a great way for youth to learn about beekeeping. Youth raise their own bees and then collect and bottle their own honey. Find the entry rules here.

Annual Essay Contest

Each year, the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association (KSBA) holds a 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest. Check the KSBA website for rules and announcements for each year's contest. 

Kentuckty State Beekeepers Association (KSBA)

The Kentucky State Beekeepers Association is a collection of local beekeeping organizations from around the state. KSBA chapters may have resources for county offices, including educational materials and ideas. Local KSBA members are often willing to give presentaions to youth about beekeeping and pollination. KSBA also provides a limited number of grants to support educational bee hives for non-profit organizations. Thier website includes a list and a map of the many local KSBA chapters, including contact information.

Pollinator Gardens

Installing a pollinator garden (or LOTS of pollinator gardens!) in your county is one of the best things you you can do for pollinators and pollinator education. University of Kentucky entomologists worked with Growwise, a bee and pollinator advocacy group, to create a list of pollinator-friendly plants for the Ohio Valley region. Check out the list here.

Monarch Butterfly Conservation

Monarch butterflies need our help! They are the only migratory butterfly in the United States, and their populations are dwindling. You can install a Monarch Waystation, which is a small pollinator garden that provides monarchs (and other pollinators) with valuable food. Or you can "tag and release" monarchs, which helps scientists to monitor their populations. UK Entomology can give you tips on how to accomplish either of these projects; contact Blake Newton. Read more below!

Create a Certified Monarch Waystation
Citizen Science: Monarch Tagging Program

Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan

In 2017, stakeholders from around the Commonwealth worked together to build a comprehensive plan to help protect pollinators that focuses on best practices that facilitate the preservation and creation of pollinator habitat. The 4-H Bee Ambassador Program was developed in support of this plan. Download and read the plan to learn more about statewide goals for pollinator protection: 

2017 Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan