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2023 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest

2023 Essay 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.


Eligibility: The 2023 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 2023. Essays entered must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.


The state selection process must be completed through the State 4-H Office.


Essay Requirements for National Judging: Essays must be typewritten or computer-generated on single-sided pages and formatted following standard manuscript format using double-spaced type and 12pt font in a legible font face.


Essays 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.”

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%. Here are some good starting resources:


On a separate page, please include a brief biographical statement of the writer including

mailing address, email address, and phone number.


The deadline for state submission is April 15, 2023. National winners will be announced: June 15, 2023

State competition entries to be evaluated for national submission may be submitted for judging via email to afd7@cornell.edu


Or by USPS: Adam Davis, NYS 4-H Office

201 Caldwell Hall

Ithaca NY, 14853


Decisions made by the trustees of the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees during national judging are final. All national competition entries become the property of the foundation and may be used as it sees fit. No essays will be returned.


Awards: Three cash prizes will be awarded in the 2023 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.

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