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Colorado 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition   arrow

Call for Entries: Submission Deadline: April 29, 2022 – Registration through 4-H Online.
Sponsored by: Colorado 4-H

2022 Essay Topic: Transportation: Minimizing Stress on Bees While Getting Them Where They Need to Be

Each Year, approximately 1.5 million honey bee colonies make the trip to California to pollinate almonds, mostly via large trucks. The movement of these colonies, along with another half million colonies based in CA, constitutes the largest insect migration event in the world (albeit assisted migration). Many beekeepers often need to move colonies to various apiary locations, for local pollination, etc. What are the major stresses on bees during local and long-distance* transportation?

In your essay, please give specific examples for how those stresses can be minimized when moving colonies within the apiary, during short-distance movement among local apiaries, and during long-distance movement across state lines. Writers are encouraged to include photos and interviews with commercial beekeepers, citing state laws for transport of bees.

*Long- Distance bee moving is any move that cannot be accomplished in one night, and therefore the load must be netted so that the bees don’t fly off the truck during the day. Any other beehive movement can be considered local even though it may be a 250-mile trip or longer.

Put on Your Thinking Cap!

An essential judging criterion is the scope of research you put forth in developing the ideas behind your essay—accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of the sources and the variety of the sources are all evaluated. Personal interviews with beekeepers and others familiar with the subject are valued sources of information and should be documented.

Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.


The 2022 Colorado 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition is open to any active 4-H Club members only. Youth selected as the Colorado 4-H Beekeeping Essay winner will be sent onto the National Competition by May 15.

 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 contact their local 4-H office for competition details. The state entry will be through 4honline events.
Failure to meet any one of the essay requirements will result in disqualification. 

  • Essay requirements for state and 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.
  • Each youth may submit only ONE entry.
  • Deadline for state submission: April 29, 2022
  • State winners will be announced: May 15, 2022
  • Deadline for national submission: May 15, 2022
  • National winners will be announced: June 15, 2022

National competition entries will be submitted for judging by the Colorado 4-H superintendent.

Decisions made by the judges of the Colorado 4-H contest judging are final. All state competition entries become the property of the Colorado 4-H program and may be used as either program sees fit. No essays will be returned.


Three cash prizes will be awarded in the 2022 Colorado State 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:$100
Second Prize:$75
Third Prize:$25

The three prize-winning essays will be published in State 4-H Newsletter and recognized at the Colorado State 4-H Conference. Essays will also be framed and displayed at the Colorado State Fair.  All authors of essays submitted to the national competition will receive a relevant book on honey bees, beekeeping or honey.

Questions? Contact Barbie Garnett, Colorado 4-H Essay contest superintendent,, 719-836-4152