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2022 Essays

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!

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%.

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