2022 4-H Essay Contest

2022 Essay Topic: Transportation: Minimizing Stress on Bees While Getting Them Where They Need to Be

Each year, approximately 1.5 million honey bee colonies make the trip to California to pollinate almonds, mostly via large trucks. The movement of these colonies, along with another half million colonies based in California, constitute the largest insect migration event in the world (albeit assisted migration). Many beekeepers often need to move colonies to various apiary locations, or for local pollination, etc. What are the major stresses on bees during local and long-distance* transportation?

In your essay, please give specific examples for how those stresses can be minimized when moving colonies within an apiary, during short-distance movement among local apiaries, and during long-distance movement across state lines.

Writers are encouraged to include photos and interviews with commercial beekeepers, citing state laws for the transport of bees.

*Long-distance bee moving is any move that cannot be accomplished in one night, and therefore the load must be netted so that the bees don't fly off the truck during the day. Any other beehive movement can be considered local even though it may be a 250-mile trip or longer.

Eligibility: The 2022 National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition is open to active 4-H Club members only.

Any 4-H Club member who placed first, second or third in previous years of the national competition is NOT eligible to win in 2022; however, state competition winners remain eligible to enter the national competition. Essays entered must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.

Competition Rules & Essay Requirements: Any 4-H Club member interested in writing an essay should contact his or her local 4-H office for competition details. The state selection process must be completed through the 4-H system.

Failure to meet any one of the essay requirements will result in disqualification.

Essay Requirements for National Judging: Essays must be typewritten or computer-generated on single-sided pages and formatted following standard manuscript format using double-spaced type and 12pt font in a legible font face.

Essays must encompass the designated topic in 750 to 1,000 words. Word count does not include sources, works cited or the writer’s biographical statement.

All factual statements and interview references must be cited in a “sources” or “bibliography.”

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%.

On a separate page, please include a brief biographical statement of the writer including mailing address, email address and phone number.

The deadline for national submission has been extended to May 15, 2022.
National winners will be announced:
June 15, 2022

Each state may submit only ONE entry.

National competition entries may be submitted for judging via mail to the address listed below or email to . Use “4-H Essay Entry from <State>” as the subject line.

Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205

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.

Three cash prizes will be awarded in the 2022 National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition. The author of the highest scoring essay will win first prize. The author of the second-highest scoring essay will win second prize. The author of the third-highest scoring essay will win third prize.

  • First Prize: $750
    Second Prize: $500
    Third Prize: $250

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.

The 2022 4-H Essay Competition information will be posted soon.
Please check back.

Contact Us

For further information about the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, please contact our office at:

Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees
Elyssa Ciresi, Executive Director
| 518.694.9793
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205