Human Flower Project
You Don’t Miss Your Melon
A 13-year-old from Oklahoma is working to bring beekeeping back to scouting.
The Boy Scouts of America merit badge for Bee Keeping: discontinued
Photo: via wiki
For some reason, the Boy Scout merit badge in beekeeping was discontinued in 1995. Now a scout from Skiatook, OK, is working to have it reinstated. Is there a badge for community organizing? If so, Christopher Stowell, age 13 and a member of the Northeast Oklahoma Beekeepers Association, has earned it already!
We read that the average U.S. beekeeper is 60 years old. Take that bit of demography, along with the sudden disappearance of North American bees in 2006 (“colony collapse disorder” is about as clear an explanation as “unidentified flying object”) and global warming – we may be looking at a world without cucumbers, lemons, cashews, watermelons…well, just find your favorite fruit or vegetable on this list of bee pollinated plants.
First off, you can very simply sign Christopher’s petition here, to have the Beekeeping merit badge reinstated. (By the way, this isn’t just decorative. Scouts had to learn and DO quite a bit to earn the bee patch.)
Bees on wild fennel in Albany, California
Then you can ask why the Boy Scouts would have made such a decision and stuck by it, when apparently there’s been long-standing objection ever since at least ’96. Several folks have written that the Scouts stopped encouraging beekeeping due to potential legal liability, for some people indeed are allergic to bee stings. Odd.
First, bees are not aggressive; read Jon Molesa’s brief and informative list of rules to avoid stings (For example, wear white). For that matter, if you’re allergic to bee stings, please go for the basketweaving or swimming badges.
Secondly, if the Scouts are truly worried about liability, what are they doing offering merit badges in “shotgun shooting” and “nuclear science,” or for that matter “American business” and “journalism”?
Please take 10 seconds and sign Christopher’s petition. He hopes to make his case to the Boy Scouts of America July 15.
(Thanks, as ever, to Georgia at Local Ecology for alerting us.)