Student Name

English Teacher(s)

Date


Sample Executive Summary


Essential/Supporting Questions

Why are honeybees so important in our food chain?

Supporting Question 1:  What benefits do honeybees provide farmers and consumers?

Supporting Question 2:  What are the known risks that honeybees face, and what can farmers, communities, and individuals do to help protect honeybees from these risks?


Product

In addition to creating a pamphlet for backyard gardeners with advice on how to make their gardens attractive to and safe for honeybees, I also have honey and honeycomb from the hives I helped care for.


Reason for Interest

Beekeeping is part of my family’s legacy since my great-great-great grandfather Charles Dadant started a beekeeping business in 1865; relatives still run beekeeping supply businesses and publish American Bee Journal.  Since my family and I enjoy gardening and try to use organic methods, I became interested in the role bees play in our food supply and the challenges, including colony collapse, that bees face.  


Mentor Choice and Qualifications

John Smith is a local organic farmer and beekeeper.  He has maintained numerous hives for the past ten years, both on his own farm and as a service for other farmers who want to keep hives but do not have the expertise.


How My Research Supports My Product

Through my research, I learned numerous theories about colony collapse and also discovered which theories seem plausible and which are unlikely causes.  I learned the basics of hive maintenance, and what to do when a hive becomes unhealthy or has been attacked by predators, such as wasps or mice.  The most interesting research was on the importance of honeybees and other pollinators to humanity’s food chain - without bees and other pollinators, our food supply would be drastically different and much less healthy.  One of the most interesting articles I read was about ways that backyard gardeners can attract pollinators to their gardens and keep them healthy by avoiding pesticides.


Creation/Development of Product - Biggest Challenges

My biggest challenge was overcoming my fear of being stung!  After that, the rest was much easier, although it is sweaty inside the protective gear.  It was tricky to decide what critical information to include in the pamphlet so it would appeal to busy gardeners who would rather garden than read a long pamphlet.  I also realized that I needed to cite all the information I borrowed, as well as use images that were in the public domain so I did not need special permission.


Creation/Development of Product - Biggest Successes

My biggest success was becoming confident enough to harvest the honey from a hive on my own.  It is not quite a success yet, but I am close to convincing my family that we should have a hive in our backyard.  The only challenge there is that while it would work okay this summer, since I am heading off to college, I am not sure where I will be the following summer.


Important Lessons Learned

I learned most of what I am afraid of can be overcome.  I also learned that it takes persistence to accomplish the things that matter most.  If I had not been persistent in trying to find a mentor, if I had given up after the first few negative response, I would never have met Mr. Smith, and I would have not have followed my family legacy as a beekeeper.  I learned that even though I don’t want to be a beekeeper as a career, I will continue my efforts with organic gardening and pay attention to the environmental choices I make throughout my life.  And I am pretty sure I am not allergic to bee stings!