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Nearly three-fourths of all animals are insects or their relatives. There are nearly one million species of insects, and they impact our lives daily. They compete with us for food, they can carry diseases, and they impact our renewable resources affecting our economy. But insects are major benefactors too, controlling other insect pests, pollinating a wide variety of crops, and recycling organic matter. 

CLICK HERE to download the Entomology Spark Sheet

CLICK HERE to download the Beekeeping Spark Sheet

Project Levels

Entomology 1   

In level 1, you may build a compound eye to see how an insect sees, identify insects, use a pitfall trap to collect insects, and observe insect habits.

Entomology 2   

In level 2, you may make an insect collection tool kit, make insect traps and baits, create a spreading board, and investigate invasive species.

Entomology 3    

In level 3, use the scientific method to investigate insects, create a dichotomous key, measure insect diversity, and experiment with meal worms.

Beekeeping 1

In level 1, learn basic beekeeping  facts, such as species of bees and the honey they produce, types of plants that attract bees, and equipment used by beekeepers.

Beekeeping 2

In level 2, learn to manage a colony of bees and care for their beehive. Learn basic beekeeping operations which produce extracted, chunk, or cut comb honey.

Beekeeping 3

This project is for youth who are experienced and knowledgeable in the basic care of a beehive. In level 3, learn to manage honey bee colonies, increase the number of colonies by splitting colonies, care for queens, troubleshoot risks to colonies, and use bees in pollination.

Resources to help you learn

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 2 entries total from 50183, 50184, 50185, 50186; 1 entry from Class 50387. Each county may send 2 entries total from Classes 50188, 50189, 50190; and 1 entry from 50191. Size and number of exhibit cases should relate appropriately to the number of insects being displayed for a specified class. Cases should be no deeper than 4”. Exhibitors should note that Entomology exhibits may be placed UPRIGHT for display.

Entomology 1 (SF 50183)

Exhibit 15 or more species representing four or more orders. Collection must be accurately labeled. Exhibitors must also include the Entomology 1 project manual, Teaming With Insects 1, with at least one completed activity for each year enrolled. The project manual must be included. Rules for pinning and labeling insects are available from your local Extension office.

Entomology 2 (SF 50184)

Exhibit 30 or more species representing eight or more orders. Collection must be accurately labeled. Exhibitors must also include the Entomology 2 project manual, Teaming With Insects 2, with at least one completed activity for each year enrolled. The project manual must be included. Rules for pinning and labeling insects are available from your local Extension office.

Entomology 3 (SF 50185)

Exhibit 60 or more species representing twelve or more orders. Collection must be accurately labeled. Exhibitors must also include the Entomology 3 project manual, Teaming With Insects 3, with at least one completed activity for each year enrolled. The project manual must be included. Rules for pinning and labeling insects are available from your local Extension office.

Entomology Display, Other (SF 50186)

Open to youth enrolled in Entomology 1, Entomology 2 or Entomology 3

Exhibit any activity or display related to Entomology that does not fit into Entomology Classes 1, 2 or 3 above. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period.

Entomology Ready4Life Challenge (SF 50187)

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Entomology project. Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

Entomology Maker (SF 50400)

Counties may submit 3 entries TOTAL combined from all Maker exhibit divisions.

Exhibits in this category are designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature, innovative, and must not fit into any other exhibit category. To qualify for this category, your project MUST abide by the following guidelines:

  • Exhibits must be an object or device that has an intended purpose and uses technology in either a mechanical way, digital (computer) way, or combination of the two.
  • The device must be something that can be used in everyday life by multiple people (a target audience), and MUST be manufactured/built by the exhibitor (If not fully manufactured by the exhibitor, the device MUST be modified structurally or be reprogramed to perform a different function other than what it was designed to do
  • Exhibit MUST be able to interact with the outside world. (e.g. an on off switch, input sensors, feedback, etc.)
  • Exhibits MUST include a detailed build log with instructions on how to make or build the exhibit, AND contain either a 3D rendering or detailed and labeled sketches of the device/product.
  • All parts and software used in the design/build MUST be listed in a detailed Bill of Materials including cost per item and total cost. Total time spent on the build must be documented in your build log.

In addition, exhibitors are HIGHLY encouraged to use tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, routers and/or other hand/power tools to help in the manufacturing process (NOTE: Simply 3-D printing or laser cutting an object without the other specifications does not qualify as a Maker Project). It is also HIGHLY encouraged that exhibits use Open Source Software and/or Hardware in the build.

ENTOMOLOGY BEEKEEPING

Create an exhibit that shows the public what you learned in the beekeeping project this year. Note: No bee hives may be exhibited. (Honey moisture content will be measured.) Fill level: the honey should be filled to the jar shoulder, not over, nor under. Chunk honey should go in a wide-mouth jar, preferably one specially made for chunk honey (see beekeeping catalogs). Be careful to distinguish “chunk honey” (comb in jar) from “cut comb” (comb only in plastic box). Honey exhibited (including chunk, cut comb, and sections) must be collected since the previous year fair.

Beekeeping 1 (SF 50188)

Exhibit an educational display for one (1) of the following:

  • Flowers Used to Make Honey. Display pressed flowers from ten (10) different Illinois plants that bees use for making honey.
  • Uses of Honey and Beeswax.
  • Setting Up a Bee Hive.
  • Safe Handling of Bees.
  • Equipment needed by a Beekeeper.

Beekeeping 2 (SF 50189)

Exhibit one (1) of the following:

  • Extracted Honey: Three (3) 1# jars, shown in glass, screw-top jars holding 1 # of honey each.
  • Chunk honey (comb in jar): Three (3) 1# jars (wide-mouth glass jars).
  • Cut-comb honey: Three (3) 1# boxes (boxes are usually 4 ½“x 4 ½“).
  • Section honey: three (3) sections of comb honey (in basswood boxes or Ross rounds).
  • Working with Honey Bees. Present a topic from your manual to teach fairgoers about working with honey bees. Use your knowledge and creativity to display this information on a poster or in a notebook.

Beekeeping 3 (SF 50190)

Exhibit three (3) of the five (5) kinds of honey listed below (#1-5) or prepare an educational display about honey bees or beekeeping.

  • Extracted Honey: Three (3) 1# jars (glass)
  • Chunk Honey (comb in a jar): Three (3) 1# jars (wide-mouth glass)
  • Cut-comb Honey: Three (3) 1# boxes (boxes are usually 4 ½” x 4 ½” in size).
  • Comb Honey- 3 sections (honey built by bees in frames of wood commonly called “sections” (boxes are usually 4 ½” x 4 ½” in size)
  • Section honey: three (3) sections of comb honey (in basswood boxes or Ross rounds).  or
  • Prepare an educational display about honey bees or beekeeping.

Entomology Beekeeping Ready4Life Challenge (SF 50191)

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Entomology project. Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

Beekeeping Maker (SF 50400)

Counties may submit 3 entries TOTAL combined from all Maker exhibit divisions.

Exhibits in this category are designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature, innovative, and must not fit into any other exhibit category. To qualify for this category, your project MUST abide by the following guidelines:

  • Exhibits must be an object or device that has an intended purpose and uses technology in either a mechanical way, digital (computer) way, or combination of the two.
  • The device must be something that can be used in everyday life by multiple people (a target audience), and MUST be manufactured/built by the exhibitor (If not fully manufactured by the exhibitor, the device MUST be modified structurally or be reprogramed to perform a different function other than what it was designed to do
  • Exhibit MUST be able to interact with the outside world. (e.g. an on off switch, input sensors, feedback, etc.)
  • Exhibits MUST include a detailed build log with instructions on how to make or build the exhibit, AND contain either a 3D rendering or detailed and labeled sketches of the device/product.
  • All parts and software used in the design/build MUST be listed in a detailed Bill of Materials including cost per item and total cost. Total time spent on the build must be documented in your build log.

In addition, exhibitors are HIGHLY encouraged to use tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, routers and/or other hand/power tools to help in the manufacturing process (NOTE: Simply 3-D printing or laser cutting an object without the other specifications does not qualify as a Maker Project). It is also HIGHLY encouraged that exhibits use Open Source Software and/or Hardware in the build.