UACES Facebook National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest


2018 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest winners announced!

Congratulations to the 2018 state winner from Arkansas, Ella Downum of Washington County 4-H.  Her essay was selected from many excellent submissions, and was forwarded to the judges at the national contest.

The finalists in the national contest, sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, have been announced, and the winning essays can be viewed on the contest website.

Congratulations and thanks to all of this year's participants.  All eligible students are encouraged to submit an essay again next year!

small version of 2018 award certificate

National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees has announced the topic for their 2018 beekeeping essay contest:

"What's so super about the super organism the Honey Bee?"

The honey bee continues to be on everyone’s mind. From beekeepers to scientists to the public, the honey bee is a great super organism. What does this mean to you, to your community and to the world? Put on your thinking caps and GO! (Please do not reference Albert Einstein in your work).

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 March 1, 2018 (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 2018.

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.  If you have any questions, you may contact Regina K. Robuck, Executive Director, Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees at 404-760-2887 or by email at

Download a printable version of the rules