Virginia State Beekeepers Association
Virginia State Beekeepers Association

2017 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest for Virginia

Sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc.

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Cash prizes to top three Virginia state essay winners are:

  • 1st-$100
  • 2nd- $50
  • 3rd- $25

Virginia's state winner essay will be forwarded on to National competition and could win cash prizes as follows:

  • 1st - $750
  • 2nd- $500
  • 3rd- $250

Each state winner, including the national winners, receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.

For the 2017 essay contest, the topic is: “How can MP3 (Managed Pollinator Protection Plan) more effectively protect honey bees from pesticide exposure?”

Beekeeping has had its five minutes of fame for the past five years. Now more than ever, people are asking "What will happen if the bees are gone?" With the continued threat of pesticides, this is a very real question. Your paper should research and help answer this question.

Survey your community to determine what is being done to help honey bees. Include your state in our survey to see if there is a wildflower planting program available or any other program that could aid the honey bee.

The scope of the research is an essential judging criterion, accounting 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. Sources, which are not cited in the endnotes, should be listed in a "Resources" or "Bibliography" list.

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


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.

2. Requirements (failure to meet any one requirement disqualifies the essay) –

  • Preparation for National Judging: ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY, double spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type style, following standard manuscript format. Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.
    Write on the designated subject only.
  • All factual statements must be referenced with bibliographical-style endnotes.
  • A brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including date of birth, gender, complete mailing address, and telephone number, must accompany the essay.
  • Length – the essay proper: 750-1000 words.
  • The word count does not include the endnotes, the bibliography or references, nor the essayist's biographical sketch – which should be on a separate page.

3. 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%.

4. Essayists should forward essays to the state judging team postmarked by February 24, 2017. The winner of the state contest will be forwarded to the national competition before March 1.

5. The state winner will be announced on March 1, 2017 and the National Winner will be announced the week of May 3, 2017.

6. All National entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essay will be returned. The National winners' essay will appear in an issue of the American Beekeeping Federation's Newsletter.

7. Email Virginia state entries by the deadline (Feb.24, 2017) to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the subject line: VA. 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

All entries received will be promptly acknowledged; if you have not received an acknowledgment after 3 business days, please resubmit.


The VSBA is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and advancing beekeeping in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Membership in the VSBA is open to beekeepers and non-beekeepers, alike. Annual membership dues are $12.00 per individual/family or $10.00 through local associations. In addition to other benefits, members receive a quarterly newsletter.

Promoting Knowledge and Fellowship
Among Beekeepers in the Commonwealth of Virginia

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