National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

Research beekeeping and share your findings in this rewarding essay contest.

Native bee on coneflower. Photo by Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension
Native bee on coneflower. Photo by Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension

Michigan 4-H youth can improve their communities, their writing skills and potentially win a cash prize by entering in the 2017 4-H beekeeping essay contest. The contest is sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. The topic for this year’s essay is, “How can MP3 (Managed Pollinator Protection Plan) more effectively protect honey bees from pesticide exposure?”

The top three winners nationally will receive cash prizes of $750, $500 and $250, respectively. The three national winners and the top winner of each state will receive a book about honey bees, beekeeping or honey. The Michigan winner will advance to the national competition and be recognized with a certificate, the book mentioned and a statewide announcement through Michigan State University Extension.

The essay length should be 750 to 1,000 words and will be judged on the scope of research, accuracy, creativity, conciseness and logic development of the topic. MSU Extension encourages youth to learn about the importance of bees and ask, “How can bees be more effectively protected from pesticide exposure?”

This contest essay should provide answers to the many questions related to the potential drop in bee population and pollination. Many people in the beekeeping community are asking, “What will happen if the bees are gone?” The continued use of pesticides makes this question more applicable than ever. Youth are encouraged to conduct surveys and research relative to what effects pesticides are having on bee populations. Personal interviews with beekeepers, farmers, homeowners and others familiar with the subject are welcomed and should be cited.

All entries must be submitted electronically in Word or PDF format to by Feb. 24, 2017. A state winner will be selected and submitted to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. by March 2. Please visit the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees 2017 4-H Beekeeping Contest Essay page for rules, guidelines and further information.

The American Beekeeping Federation established the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc., a non-profit corporation, to preserve the practice and the profession of beekeeping through education and research.

MSU Extension encourages participation in new experiences that are safe and expose youth to science involvement with 4-H science: Asking questions and discovering answers. Please contact Nick Baumgart at for ideas on spending time outdoors with youth.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to create a community excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 4-H STEM programming seeks to increase science literacy, introducing youth to the experiential learning process that helps them to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Youth who participate in 4-H STEM are better equipped with critical life skills necessary for future success. To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth in STEM literacy programs, read our 2015 Impact Report: “Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals.”

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