UTIA Family, please refer to utk.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, including event information and county office status, please visit utia.tennessee.edu/coronavirus .

Beekeeping and Entomology

The 4-H Entomology/Beekeeping project will lead you into the exciting world of insects and their arthropod relatives. Learn about bees and insects found in the soil, on plants, in homes, on pets, and in other secret places. If you have already signed up for this 4-H project, come on in and get started. If you haven’t signed up yet, contact your county 4-H office and become a member today. So, get ready to have fun and learn a lot as you participate in your project.

Beekeeping Essay Contest

The Beekeeping Essay Contest allows 4-H’ers to use their writing and research skills in developing an essay on a beekeeping-related topic. Cash awards are available to winners on the national level.

Announcement and Rules

Sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc.

National Awards:
First place: $750.00
Second place: $500.00
Third place: $250.00

State Awards (Cash awards are for Tennessee contestants only):
First place: $100.00
Second place: $75.00
Third place: $50.00
The state winner will also receive an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.

Topic: Overwintering: Bee Survival through the Cold Season

More information about the National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition

Due to the state 4-H office by March 15, 2020! Please e-mail jcrowe3@utk.edu. If you do not receive a response within three days, please re-submit.


  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; other state winners are eligible to re-enter.
  2. Requirements (failure to meet any one disqualifies):
    1. Write on the designated subject only.
    2. All factual statements must be referenced with bibliographical-style endnotes.
    3. A brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including date of birth, gender, complete mailing address, and telephone number must accompany the essay.
    4. Length – the essay proper: 750 to 1,000 words.
    5. The word count does not include the endnotes, the bibliography, or references, not the essayist’s biographical sketch – which should be on a separate page.
    6. Prepare your essay double-spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type font, following a standard manuscript format. Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.
  3. Essays will be judged on (a) scope of research – 40 percent, (b) accuracy – 30 percent, (c) creativity – 10 percent, (d) conciseness – 10 percent, and (e) logical development of the topic – 10 percent.
  4. Essayists should not submit essays directly to The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. office. Deadline for Tennessee entries to be received in the state 4-H office is March 15, 2020.
  5. Each state may submit only one entry.
  6. Final judging and selection of the national winner will be made by the Federation’s essay committee, whose decision will be final.
  7. The national winner will be announced the week of June 1, 2020.
  8. All national entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essay will be returned.
  9. Email your entries to jcrowe3@utk.edu with the subject line: 4-H Beekeeping Essay. All entries will be promptly acknowledged. If you have not received an acknowledgment after three business days, please resubmit.

NOTE: Only essays submitted electronically will be accepted.

Additional Resources

Follow the links below to find some great online resources for your project. Surf around and see what you can learn!

Service Project Ideas

  • Visit a local nursing home and give a 4-H speech about insects. Be sure to carry some specimens in a plastic jar for show and tell!
  • Work with a local daycare and help each child make an insect collection. Be sure to get help from adults since you will be using pins.
  • Work with a beekeeper to provide jars of honey for family members, friends, or neighbors.