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Beekeeping Essay Contest

Beekeeping Essay Contest

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Honey bees are hardworking, tirelessly gathering nectar and pollen to share with their hive.  They provide a vital ecological service by pollinating agricultural, garden and native plants.  Explore more about these fascinating insects by participating in the North Carolina 4-H Beekeeping Essay contest. The essay provides a platform for youth to creatively express their working knowledge and research of the craft of beekeeping.

2018 Beekeeping Topic: “What’s So Super About the Super Organism in 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.


The state beekeeping essay follows the rules laid out by the national contest sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees. The state winner is awarded $50 and is submitted to the national contest.  The national essay awards cash prizes to the top three winners; 1st Place—$750.00, 2nd Place—$500.00, 3rd Place—$250.00. Each State Winner, including the national winners, receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.

All state essays should be saved with the following file name format: “Lastname_firstname-beekeeping essay” and submitted electronically to Liz Driscoll by March 1st, 2018. The 2018 essay is due ELECTRONICALLY to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by March 1st, 2018 at 5PM.

image of honey bee frame with capped brood cells


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; but other state winners are eligible to re-enter.

2. Requirements (failure to meet any one requirement disqualifies the essay) -
  - 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 and telephone number, must accompany the essay.
  - Length: 750 to 1000 words. Note: Youth that are in the 9-10 age category, only need to write an essay that is between 400-500 words.
  - The word count does not include the endnotes, the bibliography or references, nor the essayist’s biographical sketch – which should be on a separate page.
  - Prepare your essays double-spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type style, following standard manuscript format. Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.

3. Essays will be judged on (a) scope of research - 40%; (b) accuracy - 30%; (c) creativity - 10%; (d) conciseness - 10%; and (e) logical development of the topic - 10%.

4. NC 4-H youth will compete in the following age divisions; 1). 9-10 2). 11-13 and 3). 14-18. Youth awarded first in the 9-10 and 11-13 category will recieve $25 each. Youth in the 14-18 age category will recieve $50
and their winning essay will be sent on to the national competition. Youth can only place first one time within an age category.

I5. ndividual essayists should not forward essays directly to the Foundation office. Each state 4-H Office is responsible for selecting the state’s winner
and should set its deadline so state judging can be completed at the state level in time for the winning state essay to be mailed to the Foundation
office before March 9th, 2018. No essay received after March 9th, 2018 will be considered.

6. Each state may submit only one entry to the national competition.

7. Final judging and selection of the National Winner will be made by the Foundation’s Essay Committee, whose decision is final.

8. The National Winner will be announced the week of May 7th, 2018.

9. All National entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essay will be returned. National winning
essays will be posted at the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey bees 4-H Essay website.

honey bee

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Program Files

A two-page handout that details summarizes the 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest. Feel free to distribute widely!View PDF

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