UACES Facebook National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest
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2024 National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees has announced the topic for their 2024 beekeeping essay contest:

"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?

Put on Your Thinking Cap!

An essential judging criterion is the scope of research you put forth in developing the ideas behind your essay, and it accounts 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.

Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references might spell it as one word. 


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


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:  $750.00
Second Prize:  $500.00
Third Prize:  $250.00

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.

Overview of Rules:

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. Essays entered must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.

2.  Essay Requirements (failure to meet any one disqualifies):

  • Write on the designated subject only.
  • All factual statements or interview references must be cited in a bibliography.
  • A brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including name, date of birth, gender, complete mailing address, email address, telephone number, and the name and location of 4H club must accompany the essay on a separate page.
  • Length of the essay: 750 to 1,000 words (the word count does not include sources, works cited or the writer’s biographical statement).
  • Prepare your essay typed, double‐spaced, 12‐pt. Times or similar type font, following a standard manuscript format.  Submit essay as a Microsoft Word compatible document or a standard PDF document. Any electronic files that cannot be opened or read by the judges will be disqualified and not read.

3.  Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

  • scope of research ‐ 40%
  • accuracy ‐ 30%
  • creativity ‐ 10%
  • conciseness ‐ 10%
  • logical development of the topic ‐ 10%

4.  Individual essayists should not forward submissions directly to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees office.  Essays should be sent via email to Dr. Jon Zawislak, University of Arkansas Extension Apiculturist, by April 20, 2024 (late entries will not be accepted).

How to submit your essay

Please submit your essay via email to: with “4‐H Beekeeping Essay” in the subject line of the email. The winning essay from Arkansas will be forwarded to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees for entry into the national contest.

5.  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.

6.  The national winner will be announced June 15, 2024.

7.   If you have any questions, you may contact Dr. Jon Zawislak at


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