2012 Apprenticeship Program Winners

Note: To protect the privacy of the Apprenticeship winners, their families and those who participated in their selection we are only publishing select information. These young men have been given the ability to correct or modify this web page to correct or delete items on this page.

Colten Hardesty
is the son of Brian & Debbie Hardesty, they live at 835 James Pl in West Fork, AR 72774. 479-839-2741. Colten is 13 and is home schooled and has interests in sports and nature. Colten is very eager to learn about bees and has already read many books about the subject.

Colten's Activities

Select comments on Colten's Application

Describe some of your interests and activities outside of school:

My interests lie in two categories, nature and sports that take accuracy. Sometimes I can even do both at the same time. For example, I have played baseball since I was 4 years old and have mainly pitched and played first base. In addition, I love shooting traditional archery. Both sports require an element of precision, and I get to be outdoors.

I enjoy cultivating and husbandry. We put in a garden two years ago. Since then one of my favorite places to be has been out in the garden. I like watching and taking care of the plants to help them grow and produce. Recently over the last several months, I have been researching, reading, and attending several seminars on poultry. My dad and I are in the process of building a chicken coop, and I expect my first batch of 20 chicks in on Dec. 7th. I can’t wait! I already have people lined up to purchase my eggs. In addition over the last month, I have begun reading and researching honeybees. I’m hoping to put this knowledge to good use in the near future!

Baking is also one of my favorite past times for two reasons, eating it and giving it away. The most popular right now is my Friendship Bread. I like being able to make something to give to others to bring them joy. I can’t wait to use my own eggs and honey in the future.

Sitting around to listen and talk with others has always been fun for me. I like listening to older people tell stories and being able to ask them questions. I learn a lot this way, and the stories crack me up.

I have also been drawing some, especially nature. I do not consider myself good at it, but I enjoy it and my mom likes what I have drawn. Hopefully with more practice I will become better.

What do you know about bees and beekeeping?

I have read two books: Beekeeping Self-Sufficiency by Joanna Ryde and The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum. I have also talked with people, watched several videos and listened to audio sermons on beekeeping through the internet. In addition, I have asked for several other books on beekeeping for Christmas.

One of the most important things I heard was that 1/3 of our food requires bees for its continued production. That is huge! Tie this fact with the bee population is reducing and we see the need for more educated beekeepers. Furthermore, there are not as many commercial beekeepers which means more backyard beekeepers are needed to fill in the gap to help pollinate crops. I want to help with this!

Besides the fact I just like bees, there are two other reasons why I want to be a bee apprentice. The first is that I can only understand so much through reading. Things will make more sense as I watch someone who shows me the secrets and the tricks of the trade. I hope by being an apprentice I will make fewer mistakes and am more successful. Plus the more people I know in beekeeping, the more resources will be available for me to learn. I would have others to turn to with my questions.

The second is the fact that I don’t want to have my parents pay to get me started in beekeeping. They have sacrificed to help me get started in poultry, and they don’t have an endless supply of money. I have prayed for a way that I can help pay to get started in beekeeping. By having free equipment available and helping teach someone else in another year, I’m hoping this will be a way to also help my parents.

Are you willing to work closely with a mentor?

I’m looking forward to it! This is one of the main reasons I want to be in the youth apprenticeship program, to learn from a mentor. I believe that there should be a mentor program for everything.

Are you a member of a club (4-H, Scotts, FFA)? Could this be a project for your club?

We are in the process of joining at least one, probably two 4-H groups, the poultry 4-H and one that is more of a general group. We have contacted Johnny Gunsaulis at the extension office, and he sent us a list of 4-H groups. So we are visiting several groups to see what the best fit is. Trying to do this around the 4-H groups’ holiday plans has been difficult. But hopefully in the next couple of months, since you must go to two meetings before joining 4-H, I will be a member. Since I have yet been a member anywhere, I hope beekeeping can be a project for a 4-H group. From what group leaders have said, I think there is a good chance. In addition, I definitely could see beekeeping as a project for many homeschooling families.

Is there anything else you want to share to strengthen your application?

By being home educated, I have a lot of flexibility. Learning about beekeeping and taking care of bees and the hive can be part of my home education. So I will have more time to devote to beekeeping than probably many others. It also gives me some flexibility with meeting with a mentor.

I’m a type of person who will think about my observations or what a mentor says. This means that if I did not understand something, I will eventually get it or I will know what questions I need to ask so I can understand.

I’m not afraid of bees, although I do understand they will sting. I’m also not allergic to bee stings.

George Washington wrote, "I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." And Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Washington, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness." I believe that Washington and Jefferson had great points that can help our country. My goal is to be more self-sufficient and to teach others to be also. A big part of this is learning how to raise and grow as much of our own food as we can. I’m trying to learn to do this. I planted oats this past fall so I can grow my own feed for my chickens. I hope to sow sweet clover for the bees this spring.

Birds and bees have always gone together. I have my birds, now I just need the bees to go with them.

Select comments from Colten's Reference letters

Colten is a very polite and respectful young man. He is the type of person you don’t have to ask to do a nice deed he just does it because he’s that type of person.

Colten shows great leadership on and off the field. He always steps up and leads the team as a good example.

Obviously being the leader of the team he shows great ability to work collaboratively but also works well independently.

I have studied Colten for many years and have discovered his love and passion for husbandry and agricultural pursuits.

Academics are very easy for Colten. His temperament reveals that he is persistent, analytical, and pays attention to details. Colten’s first tendency is to sit back and evaluate new situations; but once he feels comfortable, he is very articulate and will ask many questions. Afterwards Colten will take the lead in applying this new knowledge.

Colten is very responsible.

I’m thinking that this young man could turn out to be your “rookie of the year”!

Colten is a terrific young man and I am certain that he will be a joy to work with .....

Colton is an enthusiastic young man that has a lot interest in agricultural endeavors. He shows a lot of interest in the Beekeeping program and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make this project a worthwhile adventure.

He is highly motivated in any area of interest and would be willing to do what is necessary to make the project a success.

He enjoys working outside and has the physical capabilities for a project of this nature.

Sam Goll
is the son of Steve & Annette Goll, they live at 2015 Tallgrass Dr in Fayetteville, AR 72701. 479-263-7914. Sam is 17 and attends Fayetteville High school and is active on the wrestling team and maintains a 3.6 GPA. Sam has an excellent location for bees around lake Sequoya.
Sam also has an entrepreneurial spirit. Since beginning his high school career, he has started a very successful candy and snack food operation.

Sam's Activities

Select comments on Sam's Application

Describe some of your interests and activities outside of school:

My life outside of school is extremely busy. I am active at church with the youth group and I babysit during services. I participate on a competitive trap shooting team in Elkins. I was elected to be part of a group call "Teen Leadership Xperience". We meet the first Tuesday of the month for the entire day to learn about North West Arkansas. Finally, I am on the Fayetteville High School Wrestling team. Although that is a school sport, I spend many weekends at wrestling tournaments and practice outside of the normal school day.

What do you know about bees and beekeeping?

Compared to most people in the NWABA I know very little about beekeeping while compared to the normal American, I know quite a lot. I have been researching honey bees for a couple of months and I have been coming to NWABA meetings. I can't list everything I know here but I believe I know enough to have the drive to work hard to effectively run a beehive.

Why do you want to become an apprentice beekeeper?

Are you williI first met one of my cousin's friends in Nebraska that had a hive. He was a young bee keeper and he showed me his hives and I was hooked! I came home from Nebraska and spent at least two hours every day for the next two seeks researching bees. I was amazed at the complexity as well as the efficiency of the honey bees. I am extremely interested in the idea and act of bee keeping; therefore I want to become an apprentice beekeeper learn hands on and not just on paper and research.ng to work closely with a mentor?

Yes, I would most definitely love to have a mentor to help me and inform me about beekeeping. I look forward to working with someone and learning from them if I win this apprenticeship.

Are you a member of a club (4-H, Scotts, FFA)? Could this be a project for your club?

I am a member of Student Council, Youth Ministry at church, and other clubs at school. I am also part of a Teen Leadership group that travels around North West Arkansas. I could see using bee keeping as part of the tour to introduce the students to some of the rural interests of the area.

Is there anything else you want to share to strengthen your application?

Ever since I was a small child I have wanted to have a real hobby and/or collect something AND I was always interested in business endeavors and making money. With bee keeping I think I can achieve both of these interests. Keeping the bees would be my hobby and I will continue to collect knowledge about the bees and beekeeping. It will be great to keep records, take photographs and make sure I am able to work with a mentor that will help me stay on track so I take care of the bees in an appropriate way. I also see this as an opportunity for a money making operation. If the nectar flow is strong next year, and I hope and pray it is, I will plan on selling surplus honey, if there is any. Although I will have to keep my family, friends, and myself from devouring it! Thank you for your time; I am looking forward to being your next NWABA apprentice.

Select comments from Sam's Reference letters

Sam has shown dedication and integrity throughout his academic career.

Sam has learned to manage his time incredibly well.

Sam also has an entrepreneurial spirit.

He is known throughout the school as being the one to contact regarding hunger needs.

... a very honorable, respectful, kind and efficient young man with great work ethics

We are constantly impressed with the way that he responds to opportunities to work and serve others.

He gives a good effort in doing what task he has to do and seems to be quick to learn skills and apply them.