May 10, 2014 11:02:03 PM
Garrett Smith, an eighth-grader at Starkville Academy, won first place at the state level and second place at national level in the 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest with his essay about beekeeping in colonial times. He was presented awards of $100 and $500 and will receive a plaque and read his essay at the state beekeeping conference this fall.
Smith was inspired to enter the contest after touring Mississippi State's entomology lab with his brother's Clover Dawgs 4-H club.
"I learned a lot about the history of beekeeping while doing online research for the essay," Smith said. "I downloaded a book because there isn't a lot of information about beekeeping in colonial times online."
Smith 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.
The national contest is sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees and the American Beekeeping Federation.