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4-H Entomology

4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest - 2015
Entries due January 20

image of a Queen BeeSponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc.

The first place essay from the Mississippi level of competition will be sent to the national contest.

In 2014, the second place winner in the national contest was Mississippi's Garrett Smith from Oktibbeha County! Start your essay now, and let's send another national award-winning essay from Mississippi this year.

Topic for 2015:

“Planting for Bees from Backyards and Up”

Due Date:

by close of business on January 20, 2015.


State Winners:
First Place: $100 (essay goes on to national competition) 
Second Place: $75  
Third Place: $50                                               
Sponsored by the Mississippi Beekeepers Association.

National Level Prizes:
First Place: $750  
Second Place: $500  
Third Place: $250                         
Sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees.

Each state winner, including the national winners, receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey from The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees.



  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; but other state winners are eligible to re-enter.
  2. Requirements (failure to meet any one requirement disqualifies the essay):
    • 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 as a Word document.
    • Length—the essay proper: 750 to 1,000 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.
    • Preparation for National Judging: ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY. Prepare your essays double-spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type style, following standard manuscript format. Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.
    • Email to:
      Subject: 4-H Beekeeping Essay
      Attach your Microsoft Word compatible documents
  3. Essays will be judged on:
    • scope of research—40%
    • accuracy—30%
    • creativity—10%
    • conciseness—10%
    • logical development of the topic—10%
  4. The national winner will be announced by May 1, 2015.


  • Make your essay pop by adding a catchy title rather than using the topic as your title.
  • The essay must be your work, in your own words. An important consideration in writing an essay is to avoid plagiarism (the act of repeating information from a source word for word; failing to cite a source, even though you paraphrased the information; or using someone else’s idea without giving them credit). It may be helpful to write a summary of each source you review, without quoting it and from memory, then outline your essay by pulling ideas from your summaries. Writing your essay from your outline will ensure your entry is your own work.
  • Beekeeping has become difficult due to a lack of native plants for forage. In this essay, you will be required to discuss ways that habitats can be modified to become “bee friendly.” Does your community allow roadsides and open land to grow wildflowers and encourage native planting of bee friendly plants?
  • Survey your community to see what is being done to help honey bees. Include your state in your survey to see if there is a wildflower planting program available or any other program that could aid the honey bee.
  • The scope of research is an essential judging criterion, accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of 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 that are not cited in the endnotes should be listed in a “Resources” or “Bibliography” list.
  • Notice that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.

If you have questions or concerns as you prepare your essay, contact Lois Connington at or 662-325-0795.

Printable Document Format (PDF)