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4H Essays

2024 4-H Essay Contest is now closed. Watch for our 2025 4-H Essay Contest in May of 2025.

Each year, the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees challenges 4-H members from all over the country to submit an essay on a topic related to honey bees. Each state chooses its finalist and submits his or her essay to the Foundation for judging. Below you will find this year’s topic, the criteria for judging and the winning essays.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, and many thanks to all who participated in the contest. Great job, everyone!

2024 Essay Topic: Varietal Honeys

For this essay, a 4-H student should answer these questions: What makes a varietal honey?   What are some unique varietals? How are some of the valuable varietals confirmed to be authentic (e.g., Manuka honey UMF and MGO)? What are some culturally or economically important varietals and why are they important?

Eligibility: The 2024 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 2024; 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 their 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 was May 1, 2024 and is now closed.
National winners will be announced:
 June 15, 2024

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 abfnet.org@gmail.com. Use “4-H Essay Entry from <State>” as the subject line.

Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees
480 Town Center St. N, PMB #253
Mooresville, IN 46158

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 2024 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.

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