UTIA Family, please refer utk.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, 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 and state level.

All essays are to be submitted to beeessay@utk.edu by March 15, 2022.

2021 Announcement and Rules

National Awards (sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees):
First place: $750.00
Second place: $500.00
Third place: $250.00

2021 State Awards:
First place: Sadiyah Little – Crockett County
Second place: Zar Poskevich – Humphreys County
Third place: Hattie Perry – Knox County

2021 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.  

More information about the 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition.

2021 Rules

  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. Failure to meet any one rule will disqualify entry.
  2. Write on the designated subject only.
  3. All factual statements and interview references must be cited in a “sources” or “bibliography” list.
  4. On a separate page, please include a brief biographical statement of the writer including mailing address, email address and phone number.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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%.
  8. Essayists should not submit essays directly to The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. office.
  9. All entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essay will be returned.

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.