Michigan 4-H environmental and outdoor education teaches youth about science and ecology, interrelationships and impacts, health, and positive outdoor experiences. As a result, youth learn to appreciate and respect the connection between people and nature.

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2020 Michigan 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition
4-H youth have the opportunity to develop writing and research skills, earn cash, and become published through 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest.

2020 Essay Topic: Overwintering: Bee Survival through the Cold Season
Honey bees have developed special skills to overwinter in the United States. Please discuss one of these skills and then include a discussion about what you do to prepare your hives for winter. Include a photo of one of your hives, either using infrared technology or showing winter wrap, hay bales, special feeders, etc. to demonstrate how you prepare your hives for winter.

  • Deadline: March 15, 2020. Entries should be emailed to Laura Quist at quistla1@msu.edu
  • Winner: a single winner will be selected to represent Michigan in the National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition. 
  • Download flyer with contest rules here.

Contest Details: An essential judging criterion is the scope of research you put forth in developing the ideas behind your essay—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. Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.

Eligibility:  The 2020 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 2020, however, state competition winners remain eligible to enter the national competition. Entered essays must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.

One winner will be selected to represent Michigan. Send all entries to Laura Quist , quistla1@msu.edu by March 15, 2020.

Essay requirements: 

  • 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. 
  • Deadline for Michigan 4-H entry is: March 15, 2020; one winner will be selected to represent Michigan and will be forwarded to the National Competition.

Awards are made at the at National level. Three cash prizes will be awarded in the 2020 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.

Sponsored by: Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees


Love spending time outdoors?

Journey through field, forest, wetlands and urban areas to discover the wonders and mysteries of Michigan’s natural environment. Through 4-H environmental and outdoor education projects on topics such as environmental resource management, entomology, outdoor recreation and education, soils, wildlife, fisheries and marine life, you will learn about the interconnection of people and nature. You’ll also develop respect and appreciation for and a sense of stewardship toward our natural resources. Enjoy time outdoors and develop an understanding and appreciation of the environment through three core theme areas:

  • Basic science and ecology
  • Interrelationships and impacts
  • Health, wellness and positive outdoor experiences

The following 4-H EOE project areas incorporate these themes into their learning activities:

Awards, Contests, Grants & Career Preparation Opportunities

Opportunities related to 4-H Environmental and Outdoor Education abound! For more information check 4-H Environmental & Outdoor Education Awards, Contests, Grants & Career Preparation Opportunities listing for 2017.


For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or:

Laura Quist
Phone: (231) 779-9480
Email: Quistla1@msu.edu