4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest

Students writing a Honey Bee Essay Contest entry should contact their local 4-H offices for contest details. The state selection will be done only through the 4-H system.

Essayists should turn in their work to their local 4-H offices during February. The offices should each forward their one winning essay to Dr. Tom Webster (thomas.webster@ kysu.edu), Kentucky State University, by March 5. He will choose and send the winning Kentucky essay to the 4-H national office by March 9.

From beekeepers to scientists to the public, the honey bee is a great super organism. What does this mean to you, your community, and the world? (Please do not reference Einstein in your work ― he didn’t really say that.)

The scope of your research is 40 percent of your score. The number of sources consulted, their authority, and their variety are all evaluated. Personal interviews with beekeepers and others familiar with the subject are valued sources of information and should be documented. Sources not cited in end notes should be in a “Resources” or “Bibliography” list. Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though some references spell it as one word.

The contest is sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Inc.

2018 Essay Topic:
“What’s So Super About the Super Organism in the Honey Bee?”

First Prize $750, Second Prize $500, Third Prize $250

Rules Overview

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

Preparation for national judging:

  • Typewritten or computer-generated double-spaced, 12-point Times or similar type style, on one side of white paper, following standard manuscript format.
  • Essay must be 750 to 1,000 words on the essay topic.
  • Essays will be judged on:
    (a) scope of research, 40 percent;
    (b) accuracy, 30 percent;
    (c) creativity, 10 percent;
    (d) conciseness,10 percent; and
    (e) logical development of the topic,10 percent.
  • All factual statements must be referenced with bibliographical-style endnotes.
  • On a separate page, a brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including birthdate, gender, complete mailing address, email address, and telephone number, must accompany the essay.
  • Each state may submit ONE entry only.
  • Final judging and selection of the National Winner will be made by the Foundation’s Essay Committee, whose decision is final.

National winners will be announced by the week of May 7, 2018. All national entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essays will be returned.


  • The 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.
  • Students must write on the designated subject only. There will be NO exceptions.
  • 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.


Regina K. Robuck, Executive Director, Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Inc., (404) 760-2887.