2021 Essay 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.
The 2021 National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition is open to active 4-H Club members only.
Any 4-H Club member who placed first, second or third in previous years of the national competition is NOT eligible to win in 2021, however, state competition winners remain eligible to enter the national competition. Entered essays must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.
Competition Rules & Essay Requirements:
Any 4-H Club member interested in writing an essay should submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, March 15, 2021. Each state may submit one entry to the National competition. National winners will be announced June 15, 2021.
- Essay requirements for national judging:
- 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.
- 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.
- All factual statements and interview references must be cited in a “sources” or “bibliography” list.
- 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%.
- On a separate page, please include a brief biographical statement of the writer including mailing address, email address and phone number.
Three cash prizes will be awarded in the 2021 National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition. The author of the highest scoring essay will win first prize. The author of the second-highest scoring essay will win second prize. The author of the third-highest scoring essay will win third prize.
- First Prize: $750
- Second Prize: $500
- Third Prize: $250
The three prize-winning essays will be published in ABF Quarterly, the magazine of the American Beekeeping Federation. All authors of essays submitted to the national competition will receive a relevant book on honey bees, beekeeping or honey.