2021 Essay Topic: Immunity: Threats to Bee Colonies and Methods to Defend Against the Threats
Honey bee colonies have developed many ways to stay healthy. Their immune responses range from behaviors such as grooming to using materials such as propolis, a plant-derived substance bees coat on the interior of a hive for antimicrobial purposes. Even the gut of the honey bee contains beneficial bacteria to help the bee stay healthy!
In your essay, name at least two threats (a parasite such as Varroa, a pathogen such as a virus, a predator such as a bear, etc.) to honey bee colonies and then discuss the methods colonies use to defend against the threats. If possible, include at least one picture you have taken from Feb. 2020-Feb. 2021 that illustrates how colonies manage to stay healthy against a variety of threats.
The 2021 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 2021, however, state competition winners remain eligible to enter the national competition. Entered essays 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:
- Essay must be typewritten or computer-generated on single-sided pages and formatted following standard manuscript format using double-spaced type and 12pt font in legible font face.
- Essay 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” list.
- 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.
- Each state may submit only ONE entry.
- Deadline for national submission: April 15, 2021
- National winners will be announced: June 15, 2021
National competition entries may be submitted for judging via mail to the address listed below or email to . Use “4-H Essay Entry from <State>” as the subject line.
Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees
500 Discovery Parkway, Suite 125
Superior, Colorado 80027
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 2021 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.