You will recall that a petition was going around to attempt to persuade Boy Scouts of America to reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge. Well, as a result, I really got involved and have been working with both the East Coast Boy Scouts Council and PotashCorp to construct an apiary at the PotashCorp Eco Lodge 419 Boy Scout Road, Blounts Creek, NC. Over the past couple of months, I have worked with BSA in siting the apiary and obtaining donations of volunteer time and beekeeping items to be used at the site. With the help of many, the apiary was finally established on May 7. Two very sturdy hive stands were donated and installed by beekeeper Ron Sessoms while CCBA members Mary and Gus Dowdy and I instructed the Scouts on the assembly of woodenware (donated by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm). We worked together and assembled four hive boxes, frames and foundation. At noon, a delicious lunch break--chili--prepared by Lexie Dean, multiple event winner of Chuckwagon Cooking competitions around the country. At 2 pm the Scouts put on the suits, veils and gloves (donated by Brushy Mountain and Dadant, Inc.), lighted the smoker and grabbed the hive tools (donated by Triple S Bee Farm) and had their first experience with live bees. The two 3-lb packages of bees, donated and hand-delivered by Rick Coor, Goldsboro, were then installed. CCBA members Ryan Willett and Heather Lawson demonstrated to the Scouts how to install a package of bees and then the Scouts tried their hand at it. They did very well for first timers. Mr. Coor was also kind enough to bring an extra queen so that the Scouts could see close up what a queen looks like. Several folks were in attendance and we had a great time. Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting is now scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at 2 pm. Everyone is invited. The Eco Lodge itself offers examples of several different ecosystems on the Nature Trail, hands-on experiments both outside and inside the Center, and a variety of animals in unique terrarium, aquarium, and aviary displays. The future also holds both wildflower and vegetable gardens. You can check out the Eco Lodge at http://ecolodge.eccbsa.org. The site will be updated regularly. Needless to say, this project could not have been accomplished were it not for the people and companies named above who so generously donated both their time and beekeeping supplies so that Boys Scouts of America may once again become beekeepers reaping not only the benefits by way of healthy beautiful plantings and raw honey, but also being able to earn a merit badge as a result. If you want to see photos of the day, go to http://ccba.webng.com.