UACES Facebook National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees has announced the topic for their 2019 beekeeping essay contest:

"Honey Varietals, State to State" 

Each jar of honey reflects an unrepeatable combination of climate, soil, weather and flowers. Each state has unique honey varietals that beekeepers can market to their customers.  Please identify one unique varietal to your state and discuss the flower’s uniqueness and how beekeepers can effectively market that varietal.  In your essay, please include a photo of the varietal’s flower, an interview with a local beekeeper who collects this varietal and a recipe that highlights the varietal.

Put on Your Thinking Cap!

An essential judging criterion is the scope of research you put forth in developing the ideas behind your essay, and it accounts 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.

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


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 three prize-winning essays will be published in ABF Quarterly, the magazine of the American Beekeeping Federation.  All authors of essays submitted to the national competition will receive a relevant book on 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 15, 2019 (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.  Decisions made by the trustees of the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees during national judging are final.  All national competition entries become the property of the foundation and may be used as it sees fit.  No essays will be returned.

6.  The national winner will be announced during the first week of May 2019.

7.   If you have any questions, you may contact Molly Sausaman, Executive Director, Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees at 404-760-2875 or by email at

Download a printable version of the rules