4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest

Each year, the UF HBREL organizes the Florida 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest. The contest is a national competition offered by the Foundation for The Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc., but only the best essay in each state moves on to compete in the national running. The Official UF HBREL Essay Committee will determine the top three essays in Florida and send the first-ranked winner on to the national competition.

The deadline to submit essays to the HBREL for the 2015 contest is February 16th, 2015.

The Florida state first place winner will be submitted to the national competition by March 1st, 2015, national winners will be announced by May 1, 2015.

Please submit essays to jklopchin@ufl.edu as a microsoft word document titled: " 4-H Essay _YOUR LAST NAME". Please use the format in the subject of your email as well.

2015 Essay Topic: “Planting for Bees from Backyards and Up

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 honeybees. 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 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. Click to see 2015 essay details and official rules

2014 Topic:

"Beekeeping in Colonial Times".

To the earliest European settlers in the New World, honey bees were an important part of their existence. Cargo manifests show that honey bees were among the first shipments of animals. How were they shipped? Why were they important? Why were they so important to the colonists? How does that differ from today?

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, farmers 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.

Click to see 2014 essay topics and official rules

The Florida winner for 2014 was Tucker Holt of Jacksonville. His essay was published on the cover of the April-June issue of the Melitto Files.

2013 Topic:

"Reducing the Usage of Bee-Killing Pesticides in my Community".

Pesticides are a fact of modern life, but misuse or overuse of pesticides, or making poor choices when selecting and applying pesticides can be devastating to honey bees and other pollinators. The 4-H’ers are encouraged to learn about bee-killing pesticides being used in their communities – by homeowners, businesses, or farmers. Then, they should investigate how the impact of those pesticides on honey bees can be lessened.

Click to see 2013 essay topics and official rules

The Florida winner for 2013 was Alessa Craner . Her essay was published on the cover of the July-September issue of the Melitto Files.The national winner was Elise Dunning of Washington State, Congratulations!

 

2012 Topic:

"The Results of Honey Bee Pollination in my Community". Honey bees pollinate a wide variety of plants. The food crops that benefit from honey bee pollination have been said to contribute one-third of the American diet. In addition, many non-food plantings and natural environmental plants benefit from honey bee pollination. The 4-H'ers are encouraged to investigate the plants in their communities that benefit from honey bee pollination and determine the results of that pollination.

Click to see 2012 essay topic and official rules

The Florida winner for 2012 was Samuel Byers. His essay was published on the cover of the April-June issue of the Melitto Files.The national winner was Michelle Solinger of Kentucky. Congratulations!

 

2011 Topic:
“U.S. Honey: A Taste for Every Preference”

The taste and color of honey varies according to flowers where the bees gather the nectar. Each different type of plant will yield honey with a different taste. The same plants, growing in different soils and climates, can yield different honey. Investigate your local/regional honeys of the United States and see how they differ in taste and color...
Click to see 2011 essay topic and official rules

The Florida winner for 2011 was Amanda Roseauer. Her essay was published on the cover of the April-June issue of the Melitto Files.The national winner was Rachel Ricchiuto of California. Congratulations!


Questions? Email our Lab Staff at honeybee@ifas.ufl.edu

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