Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Image: American Bee Journal - December, 1927
Image not related to article..
Via. Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

Christmas Folklore and Traditions - Bees and Honey

-Pennsylvania Germans held the belief that on Christmas night between eleven and twelve, bees lose their numbness and crawl on the outside of the hive, no matter how cold or snowy the weather may be.

-One of the most enchanting of old English traditions is that even the bees must be wished a Merry Christmas and a sprig of shiny green and bright red holly must adorn each hive.

-A Ukraine custom is to sit down to honey and porridge on Christmas Eve, -they call it ‘koutia‘, Each dish is said to represent the Holy Crib. First porridge is put in, which represents putting straw in the manger; then each person helps himself to the honey and fruit, and that symbolizes the Christ Child. A place is made in the porridge, and then the honey and fruit are poured in; the fruit stands for the body of Christ and the honey for the spirit or the blood.

Happy (Belated) Birthday - Abraham Lincoln

Happy Birthday ~ Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln - Born February 12, 1809 
via: Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History
DID YOU KNOW?...Abraham Lincoln was "very fond of honey."

As a child in Indiana Abraham Lincoln was used to eating honey, and a biography quoted the following from a letter written shortly after his death: "Mr. Lincoln was very fond of honey. Whenever he went to Mr. Short's house he invariably asked his wife for some bread and honey. And he liked a great deal of bee bread in it. He never touched liquor of any kind." - 68. N. W. Branson to William H. Herndon. Petersburg Ill Aug 3. 1865

“I don't like to hear cut and dried sermons. No—when I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.”
― Abraham Lincoln

"It is an old and a true maxim, that a "drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall." So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason,..." -Abraham Lincoln, Temperance Address of February 22, 1842 -Springfield, Illinois

Image: Abraham Lincoln photographed holding his glasses and a newspaper on August 9, 1863

History of the Beekeeping Merit Badges

Reposted February 8, 2016 from Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

On This Date In History: February 8, 1910 - The Boy Scouts of America was formed.

Scouting came to the United States from the United Kingdom in 1910, and by 1911, the BSA manufactured the first official 57 merit badges and began awarding them, among them the first beekeeping badge named 'Bee Farming.' Merit badges have been an integral part of the Scouting program since the start of the movement and are an important part of the uniform and insignia of the Boy Scouts. Among Boy Scout merit badges, the Beekeeping badge in particular has undergone a series of changes over the years.

1911 ~ Bee Farming 
Image 1
The first Boy Scout merit badge for Beekeeping was issued in 1911 and was called Bee Farming, It looked something like a fly with four legs. Square patches were used from 1911 to 1933.

To obtain a merit badge for Bee Farming a scout must:

1. Have a practical knowledge of swarming, hiving, hives and general apiculture, including a knowledge of the use of artificial combs.

2. Describe the different kinds of honey and tell from what sources gathered.


1915 ~ Bee Keeping 
Image 1
In 1915 the badge was renamed Bee Keeping. It still looked something like a fly with four legs.

To obtain a merit badge for Bee Keeping, a scout must

1. Know how to examine a colony of bees, remove the combs, find the queen, and determine the amount of the brood, number of queen cells, and the amount of honey in the hive.

2. Distinguish between the drones, workers, eggs, larvae, pupae, honey, wax, pollen, and propolis; tell how the bees make the honey, and where the wax comes from; and explain the part played in the life of the colony by the queen, the drones, and the workers.

3. Have had experience in hiving at least one swarm. Explain the construction of the modern hive. especially in regard to the "Bee spaces."

4. Put foundations in sections and fill supers with sections; and also remove filled supers from the hive and prepare honey for the market.

In 1928 an additional requirement was added to obtain a Bee Keeping merit badge:

5. Write an acceptable article of not more than two hundred words on the differences in honeys according to the flowers from which the nectar is obtained.


1934-1935 ~ Bee Keeping
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1936-1937 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 3


1937-1938 ~ Bee Keeping
Not Shown


1940-1942 ~ Bee Keeping
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1940-1942 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 5


1947-1951 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 6


1952-1956 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 7

In 1956 the badge was renamed Beekeeping.


1957-1960 ~ Beekeeping
Image 8

In 1957 the badge was redesigned to look like a real live bee.


1961-1971 ~ Beekeeping
Image 9


1967 ~ Beekeeping
Image 10


1972-1975 ~ Beekeeping
Image 11


1972-1975 ~ Beekeeping
Image 12


1976-1980 ~ Beekeeping
Image 13


1994-1995 ~ Beekeeping
Image 14

1995 ~ The Beekeeping merit badge was discontinued.

The Beekeeping merit badge was offered from 1911 until 1995. From 1980 to 1994, the number of youth earning this merit badge ranged from 700 to 1,000 per year. That decline in interest eventually led to its demise in 1995.


2012 ~ The Boy Scouts of America respond to demands for reinstatement of the beekeeping merit badge:

"In recent years, Scouts and Scouters have expressed a desire for the Beekeeping merit badge to be reinstated. They have been concerned about the vital role bees play in our ecosystem and that Scouts seem increasingly unaware of the problems honeybees face today. After a great deal of research and consideration, much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons will soon be incorporated into several existing badges. Those affected include Environmental Science, Forestry, Gardening, Insect Study, Nature, and Plant Science. As a result, more Scouts will be exposed to honeybee issues than if the merit badge were reinstated." -Advancement News June/July 2012


1994 ~ Insect Study
Image 15

At the present state, beekeeping is a partial requirement in the merit badge; Insect Study. Much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons were incorporated into this badge.


1952 ~ Nature
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At the present state, beekeeping is a partial requirement in the merit badge; Nature. Much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons were incorporated into this badge.


Advancement News June/July 2012…/advancement…/512-075_June_July.pdf

Boy Scouts of America: The Official Handbook for Boys By Boy Scouts of America, 1911, page 41

Boy Scouts of America: The Official Handbook for Boys By Boy Scouts of America, 1915, page 36

Beekeeping Merit Badge

Handbook for Boys
By Boy Scouts of America 1915 page 36

Insect Study


Collecting Merit Badges - insect study…/boyscouts/…/insect_study.htm

Nature Merit Badge…/advancemen…/meritbadges/mb-natu.aspx

Boy Scout Insignia Virtual Museum

The Future of Beekeeping and the BSA…/a…/additional-recognition

Boy Scout Merit Badges…/national-bsa-i…/merit-badges/


Research in progress:
Number of beekeeping merit badges issued by year:
Can you help fill in the missing dates?

1911 - 0
1912 - 25
1913 - 62
1914 - 214
1915 - 39
1916 - 19

Annual Report of the Boy Scouts of America: 1917 page 55…


1917 - 19
1918 - 51
1919 - 97
1920 - 66
1921 - 147
1922 - 199
1923 - 207
1924 - 190

1927 - 407?
1941 - 5,027?
1928 - 1,154?

Annual Report of the Boy Scouts of America. 1924 page 49
Comparative merit-badge table for eight years…