What you'll do
Entomology is the study of insects. There are WAY more insects on earth than there are people. Butterflies, dragonflies, bees, cockroaches, bed bugs and flies are just a few. Insects play a big part in our earth's ecosystem and food supply.
You can study one species, pollinators, threats to insect survival, diseases transmitted by insects or even how insects can be used to solve crimes!
Levels of learning
Get started with 4-H'ers in your area
Find a club near you or contact your local 4-H office for more info.
Get started on your own
Talk to an expert. Contact a beekeeper in your area or call your local 4-H office for ideas.
Know how insects are grouped into orders
- Beehives are like cities, with thousands of citizens. They communicate, they work together, and they are organized, with leaders and workers, just like a city.
- Which pollinators live around you? Find out which plants they pollinate.
- Which invasive insect species live in your area? What makes them invasive?
- Enter an entomology project in a science or technology fair.
- If you have a strong stomach, learn about forensic entomology, or using insects to find out how and when a person died.
- Find out how insects help produce the food you eat. What would happen to food production if the bees were gone?
Behind the scenes at the U entomology lab
What do entomologists actually do? So many things! Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the entomology lab at the University of Minnesota.
U entomologists answer your questions
4-H'ers sent in questions for Morgan and Alan, U researchers who study pollination. They answered questions such as, Which insects are the best pollinators? Can birds or lizards be pollinators?
What do bees do in the winter?
A group of 4-H'ers studied how bees survive a Minnesota winter, and what beekeepers can do to help them.
Extending your learning
Are there insect issues in your town? Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about it. What do you propose to do about this problem? What should people know?
Fairs and exhibits
- The life cycle of an insect
- Threats to an insect species
- How are insects important to the food supply?
- Make and care for an ant farm
- Identify insect body parts and their functions
- Insects in current events
- What makes a healthy insect habitat?
- Make a specimen box
- What a judge is looking for (evaluation sheet)
4-H record keeping
In some counties, record keeping is required for fairs.
Future study and careers
You could study entomology, biology, environmental science or another natural science.
Entomologists may work with animals, with crops, in a forestry company, as exterminators, in forensics or in a laboratory.
Reviewed in 2018