I would think that a basic beekeeping shadowing badge might could be developed that would list specific jobs that a young person could do assisting a beekeeper with his/her bees. It would take a period of time to shadow a beekeeper to observed, learn, and assist the beekeeper in caring for his/her bees. A list of jobs could be developed and the beekeeper would have to sign off on them as the youngster does each one.
There might be an advanced beekeeping badge for those young people who are ready to have their own hive after they have their basic beekeeper shadowing badge.
Re: BeeKeeping mentoring
I couldn't agree more! It would even be fun developing such a list and to do so without fighting over it to much! The old adage, "Ask 5 beeks a question and get 9 opinions" would have to be sublimated into getting the JOB done! For example in our area simply mentioning any chemical will cause a flurry, not even powdered sugar mite control is "approved" by many here! Not only a chance for a "learning window" but some honest honey could be the reward, as well as the merit badge!
If I recall, 50 years ago, a merit badge has usually about 12 or more things a scout may do, three to five of which are mandatory and the two or three are their own choice, but of course they may do all of them if they so choose. So what are the 5 to 7 that would be mandatory? Catching a swarm would be a great choice for an optional-volunteer assignment. Identifying workers, drones, and the queen should be mandatory, no? Identifying all components of a hive should be mandatory. What else? Life cycle of a worker bee? A queen? So some of the work would be practical, hands on, while other parts would be more bookish.
Or we could consult with the young Oklahoman Scout Chris since he developed the program! That would help with his Eagle!