Thursday, January 3, 2013

Beekeeping Essay Contest

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees sponsors a yearly essay contest that offers cash prizes to its winners.  The topic for this year is:

“Reducing the Usage of Bee-Killing Pesticides in my Community”
Pesticides are a fact of modern life, but misuse or overuse of pesticides, or making poor choices when selecting and applying pesticides can be devastating to honey bees and other pollinators.  The 4-H’ers are encouraged to learn about bee-killing pesticides being used in their communities – by homeowners, businesses, or farmers.  Then, they should investigate how the impact of those pesticides on honey bees can be lessened.

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.

For ideas, go to to see last year's submissions and winners.  

  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 requirement disqualifies the essay) –
·         Preparation for National Judging:  ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY, double spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type style, following standard manuscript format.  Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.
·         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, and telephone number, must accompany the essay.
·         Length – the essay proper: 750-1000 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.
  1. 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%.
  2. Essayists should forward essays to the state judging team postmarked by February 4, 2013.  The winner of the state contest will be forwarded to the national competition before March 1.
  3. The state winner will be announced on March 1, 2013 and the National Winner will be announced by May 1, 2013. 
  4. 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:

  1. Email state entries to:
                  In the subject line:  VA. 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest
                  All entries received will be promptly acknowledged; if you have not                                   received an acknowledgment after 3 business days, please resubmit.

If you have any questions or want more information, contact the extension office!