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Help Christopher Stowell convince the Boy Scouts of America reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge

I recieved an email from the admin over at BeeSource explaining that a 13 year old Boy Scout named Christopher Stowell is seeking support in trying to convenience the Boy Scouts of America to reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge. This is important for our beloved hobby. An interest in beekeeping by young people helps spread the knowledge gained by older generation on to future generations, there by preserving valuable knowledge. As many of you reading this already know, beekeeping is a very rewarding hobby, and a source of income for a lot of beekeepers.

I’ve not read this anywhere, but I suspect that the reason that the BSA stop the Beekeeping Merit Badge in the first place was over concerns of people allergic to bee stings having reactions. I can just imagine a concerned mother, of a son with allergies to bee stings, raising an issue to the point that the BSA just decided it was easier to not to have to deal with the potential liability. I suspect that this is the same reason that many cities have also banned the hobby, including NYC. Which I hear that they have now reascended, and it is once again legal to keep bees.

The problem with banning beekeeping is that keeping bees is beneficial to our plants, many of which we depend on for our survival, and to our enjoyment. One of the reasons that I keep bees is they provide me with an unlimited amount of stimulation to my curiosity. I think I will never completely understand them. It’s interesting to read about a manipulation technique and the reported results, and then to reproduce those same results in one’s own bees. Why deprive people of such a rewarding experience? I understand the fear associated with the allergy. My Mom is deathly allergic to insect venom. Has been all of her life. But there are very effective mitigations against Anaphylaxis shock, where the body tries to fight the venom’s effects. I keep an epi pen on hand in case a visitor happens to have a reaction in the event of a sting. I reccommed that you do the same. How ever if one will keep in mind a few rules when around a hive of bees there is little chance of an issue.

If you’d like to support Christopher Stowell in his effort to encourage the powers that be at the Boy Scouts of America then visit his beepetition and add your support. At the time of this writing it’s already 270 pages of comments. At 10 pledges per page he’s already got 2700 signatures of support. If you’re interested in offering your services as a mentor to anyone that will seek the Beekeeping Merit Badge you can do so at this thread over at Beesource. Or if you prefer you can download, print, and mail this pdf. And if you’re a member of a club you can help pass the resolution showing your support by downloading, printing, and mailing this pdf.

One of the joys of beekeeping is sharing that joy. Let’s show our support of Christopher Stowell’s effort by signing his petition and offering to be a mentor.

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