The Missouri 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest is a qualifying contest for the National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. The first place winner of the Missouri contest will be entered into the national contest. Essays from all age divisions will be judged against one another as only essay may be submitted from each state for the national essay contest. However, the first place winner in each age division in the Missouri essay contest will receive a prize.

2024 essay topic

Varietal Honeys For this essay, a 4-H member should answer these questions: What makes a varietal honey? What are some unique varietals? How are some of the valuable varietals confirmed to be authentic (e.g., Manuka honey UMF and MGO)? What are some culturally or economically important varietals and why are they important?


The 2024 Missouri 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 for submission to the national contest in 2024; however, state contest winners remain eligible to win in their age division in the state competition. Essays entered must encompass the designated topic only. There will be no exceptions.

Competition rules and essay requirements

Any 4-H Club member interested in writing an essay should contact the state 4-H office for competition details. The state selection process must be completed through the 4-H system. Failure to meet any one of the essay requirements will result in disqualification.

Essay requirements

  • 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%.
  • On a separate page, please include a brief biographical statement of the writer including mailing address, email address, and phone number.

The deadline for submission is April 15, 2024.

National winners will be announced: June 15, 2024.

National awards

Three cash prizes will be awarded in the 2024 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.

Essays should be emailed to by the April 15 deadline. Questions may be emailed to the same.