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. The submission deadline is March 15, 2024. The 2024 topic has not yet been released.

2023 National Awards:
First place: Paige Costello – Carroll County

2023 State Awards:
First place: Paige Costello – Carroll County
Second place: Jonah Chiwood – Knox County
Third place: Audrey Kraszewski – Montgomery County

2023 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

2023 Topic: The Importance of Beeswax

Although honey bees are much-beloved for honey, bees also produce beeswax that can be used in many ways. For this essay, a 4-H student should discuss why beeswax is so important to the hive (it’s a pantry, it’s a nursery, it’s the dance floor), but also discuss their favorite way to use beeswax outside the hive. Photos of candles, soaps, or lip balms that are made to show the 4-H’er’s skill in using beeswax are welcomed as are recipes or brief instructions.

More information about the 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition.

2023 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.

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.