Tennessee 4-H is designed to develop citizenship, leadership, and life skills. The Tennessee Beekeepers Association is sponsoring the 4-H beekeeping and entomology program. As I am serving as president of the state-wide beekeeping organization, I was invited to participate in the 4-H Roundup as a judge of high school students who participated in beekeeping and entomology projects. The students made oral presentations before a group of judges at the University of Tennessee-Martin campus. Tod Underhill also served as a judge. As well as being active at Peace Bee Farm, Tod is an instructor at The University of Memphis. We both spent an enjoyable day meeting with students who had definitely gained specific skills in the study of beekeeping and the broader study of entomology. They also demonstrated that they were developing communications skills, poise in making presentations, and self confidence. Each of the students was quite impressive in his or her presentation. Jonathan Belcher of Rockvale, Tennessee and Phillip Adams of Burns, Tennessee were the winners. Jonathan received a college scholarship, and Phillip won a trip to the National 4-H Congress. I congratulate each of those who participated
Today’s photo is swamp mallow, which is now in bloom. Swamp mallow can be seen in the damp ground along drainage ditches and bodies of water in the Arkansas Delta. The large, bell-shaped flowers are particularly attractive to bumble bees as seen in the photo. The bumble bees climb deep into the flower, stay for a considerable amount of time, and then emerge covered in pollen. Click on the photo to see the bumble emerging from the flower. The swamp mallow is in the same family as hollyhock, hibiscus, rose of Sharon, and cotton.