4-H teen leaders prepared to launch Honey Bee Challenge

4-H members who attended the Teens as Teachers workshop will put their new leadership skills to the test at the kickoff event for the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience April 9.

4-H teen leaders learning the Honey Bee Challenge in March. | MSU Extension

4-H teen leaders learning the Honey Bee Challenge in March. | MSU Extension

Michigan 4-H will kick off the 2016 4-H Ag Innovators Experience this Saturday at the IQ Hub at AgroLiquid in St Johns. The kickoff event will feature an opportunity for youth to complete the Honey Bee Challenge and tour the IQ Hub. The event is free and open to both 4-H members and the public. Lunch will be provided.

In the Honey Bee Challenge, participating youth will be charged with connecting honey bees to the foods they eat, as well as learning best management practices and foraging behaviors of pollinators. Youth will use bristle-bots platforms to create model honey bee robots and explore honey bee habitats in various ecosystems while gaining a broader understanding of honey bees’ role in growing food and feeding the world.

The collaborative, hands-on challenge will also help youth learn about the threats to honey bee habitats, how threats are being addressed and best practices for preserving and maintaining honey bee habitats.

The Honey Bee Challenge is part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience program presented by National 4-H Council and Monsanto to help develop critical workforce skills in young people and show that agriculture can be relevant and fun. More than 10,000 youth across eight states will engage in the activity throughout the spring and summer.

At the April 9 event, the Honey Bee Challenge activity will be led by 4-H teen leaders who participated in the 4-H Teens as Teachers workshop in March.  Fourteen youth from Eaton, Isabella, Lapeer, Macomb, Midland, Oceana, Sanilac and Wayne counties attended the workshop.  These teens will be joined by additional youth from Genesee, Macomb and Midland counties who were previously trained Altogether, more than 30 Michigan 4-H teens are trained to deliver the Honey Bee Challenge activity. 

The 4-H teen leaders will conduct the Honey Bee Challenge activity throughout the spring and summer in communities throughout Michigan.  A total of 1,250 Michigan youth will have the opportunity to participate in the activity as it is offered through various 4-H camps, clubs, after-school programs and outreach events. 

Saturday’s kick-off event will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude by 2 p.m. AgroLiquid is located at 3055 West M-21 in St. Johns. To ensure an adequate number of meals, event planners ask that people interested in attending preregister. To register or get more information about the Honey Bee Challenge, please contact Betty Jo Krosnicki with Michigan State University Extension at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 810-648-2515.

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