UACES Facebook National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

The 2017 contest has ended. Read the winning essays online.

Topic and rules for the 2018 contest will be posted here as soon as it is available.



National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees has announced the topic for their 2017 beekeeping essay contest:

How can MP3 (Managed Pollinator Protection Plan) more effectively protect honey bees from pesticide exposure?

Beekeeping has had is five minutes of fame for the past five years. Now more than ever, people are asking “What will happen if the bees are gone?” Your paper should research and help answer this question.

Survey your community to see what is being done. Include your state in your survey to see if there are any programs they are using for pollination or any other program that could aid the honey bee.

The scope of the research is an essential judging criterion, accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of the sources, and the variety of the sources are all evaluated.

Personal interviews with beekeepers and others familiar with the subject are valued sources of information and should be documented. Sources, which are not cited in the endnotes, should be listed in a “Resources” or “Bibliography” list.

Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.

Failure to meet any one of the contest requirements will result in a disqualification.


Contest is open to active 4-H Club members only. 4-H’ers who have previously placed first, second, or third at the National level are NOT eligibility; but other state winners are eligible to re-enter. Students must write on the designated subject only. There will be NO exceptions.


First Prize: $750.00
Second Prize: $500.00
Third Prize: $250.00

The National winners’ essays will appear in an issue of the American Beekeeping Federation’s Newsletter.

Each State Winner, including the National winners, receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.

 Overview of Rules:

1. Contest is open to active 4‐H club members only. 4‐H’ers who have previously placed first, second, or third at the national level are not eligible; other state winners are eligible to re‐enter.

2.  Requirements (failure to meet any one disqualifies):

  • Write on the designated subject only.
  • All factual statements must be referenced with bibliographical‐style endnotes.
  • A brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including date of birth, gender, complete mailing address, email address and telephone number must accompany the essay on a separate page.
  • Length of the essay: 750 to 1,000 words (The word count does not include the endnotes, the bibliography or references, or the essayist’s biographical sketch).
  • Prepare your essay double‐spaced, 12‐pt. Times or similar type font, following a standard manuscript format. Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document or a standard PDF document.  Any electronic files that cannot be opened or read by the judges will be disqualified.

3.  Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

  • scope of research ‐ 40%
  • accuracy ‐ 30%
  • creativity ‐ 10%
  • conciseness ‐ 10%
  • logical development of the topic ‐ 10%.

4.  Individual essayists should not forward submissions directly to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees office.  Essays should be sent via email to Jon Zawislak, University of Arkansas Extension Apiculturist, by February 19, 2017 (late entries will not be accepted). Please submit your essay via email to:, with “4‐H Beekeeping Essay” in the subject line of the email. The winning essay from Arkansas will be forwarded to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees for entry into the national contest.

5.   Final judging and selection of the national winners will be made by the Foundation’s essay committee, whose decision will be final.

6.  The national winner will be announced during the first week of May 2017.

7.  All national entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essay will be returned.

Download a printable version of the rules.