Active Floyd County 4-H members have the opportunity to win up to $850 and enter a nationwide honey bee essay contest by April 1.
Presented by the Honey Bee Preservation Foundation and Virginia 4-H, three state winners will receive cash prizes ($100, $50, $25) and an appropriate book on honey bees, beekeeping or honey.
The state winner will be sent to the national competition, which awards three more cash prizes ($750, $500, $250).
The subject of the 2022 essay is, Transport: Minimizing stress on bees while getting them where they need to be. Here’s the prompt, provided by the Honey Bee Conservation Foundation and Virginia 4-H:
“Each year, approximately 1.5 million honey bee colonies travel to California to pollinate almonds, primarily via large trucks. The movement of these colonies, along with another half million California-based colonies, constitute the largest insect migration event in the world (although assisted migration) Many beekeepers often have to move colonies to various apiaries locations, or for local pollination etc. What are the major stresses on beekeepers bees during local and long-distance transport*?
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In your essay, please give specific examples of how these constraints can be minimized when moving colonies within an apiary, when moving short distances between local apiaries, and when moving long distances across borders of State.
Writers are encouraged to include photos and interviews with commercial beekeepers, citing state laws for transporting bees.
*Moving bees over long distances is any move that cannot be accomplished overnight, and therefore the load should be threaded so that the bees do not fly off the truck during the day. Any other hive movement can be considered local, even if it is a journey of 250 miles or more.
A key judging criterion is the scope of research you put forward to develop the ideas behind your essay, accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of sources and the variety of sources are all assessed. Personal interviews with beekeepers and others familiar with the subject are valuable sources of information and should be documented. Note that “bee” is correctly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.