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Image by Fabian Keller

Why Youth Scholarships

The NBA Youth Beekeeping Scholarships are an important investment in the future, helping to promote environmental sustainability, provide valuable skills and experiences for young people, and support the vital role of bees in our ecosystems.



A NBA youth scholarship provide young people with the opportunity to learn about and develop an interest in beekeeping, which is an important and rewarding skill. This is particularly important given the crucial role that bees play in the environment and in food production.



NBA youth beekeeping scholarships offer a valuable means of promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship, encouraging young people to take an active role in caring for the natural world.



NBA beekeeping scholarships can also provide young people with valuable skills and experiences that can help them to succeed in other areas of their lives, such as in entrepreneurship, science, and agriculture.

About the NBA Youth Scholarship

The goal of the Nebraska Beekeepers Association Youth Scholarship is to support and encourage young Nebraskans who have a passion for beekeeping. By providing financial assistance through educational tuition and equipment, the scholarship aims to help young beekeepers expand their knowledge and learn new skills and experiences in beekeeping.

The Nebraska Beekeepers Association is dedicated to fostering diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) in our scholarship program. We welcome applications from all youth, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. We value the unique perspectives and experiences that each applicant brings, and we are committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment where all youth feel valued and respected.

The NBA Scholarship committee seeks candidates that have no prior experience in beekeeping and have no immediate family members that are currently beekeeping. Scholarships are awarded to up to 10 (ten) youth per year

Candidate Requirements

  • You are communicative with your mentor and the NBA board

  • The candidate must be no younger than 14 and no older than 17 by January 1 of the scholarship award year.

  • The candidate must be a full time resident of Nebraska.

  • The candidate must be currently enrolled in public, private, or home school education in Nebraska.

  • The candidate must have permission and agreement from parent(s) and or guardian(s).

  • The candidate must agree to participate in all scholarship related activities to be considered for the scholarship.  This includes the UNL beekeeping class and open apiary field day.

  • Submit an essay based on the current years topic by the Foundation of the Preservation of Honey Bees. 

  • Create and submit a beekeeping related poster to be displayed and judged at the Nebraska State Fair.

  • Work one shift at the Nebraska State Fair Bee Culture booth. 

  • Complete and present a year end beekeeping slideshow. 


*If you do not complete these requirements, you will forfeit your equipment, bees and protective gear you received from the Nebraska Beekeepers Association.

Application Process

The application form and candidate essay must be submitted to the Nebraska Beekeepers Association no later than Dec 1, of the current year.

Candidate Essay:  Submit a 250 word essay explaining why you are interested in beekeeping and how you plan to use the scholarship to further your beekeeping goals.

Youth Scholarship Awards:  

Full Scholarship:  One full scholarship may be awarded per 1 candidate, per family.*  

Full scholarship includes:

  • 1 Honey Bee hive consisting of 4 medium boxes, 40 frames w/plastic foundation, bottom board, inner cover, telescoping lid, frame feeder, entrance reducer

  • 1 Package of honey bees with a marked queen

  • Smoker

  • Hive Tool

  • Bee Brush

  • Protective equipment (hat, veil, bee gloves) for the awardee

  • UNL class tuition for the awardee and one parent/guardian.

  • Discounted entry to NBA Bee Fun Day for awardee and one parent/guardian

Partial scholarship:  Partial scholarship excludes awarding multiple honey bee colonies per family.  A partial scholarship may be awarded, but not guaranteed, to up to two youth within the immediate family.*

A partial Scholarship includes: 

  • Protective equipment(hat, veil, bee gloves)

  • UNL class tuition for awardee(s) and one parent/guardian.

  • Discounted entry to NBA Bee Fun Day for awardee(s) and one parent/guardian is included in this scholarship.*

*The Nebraska Beekeepers Association reserves the right to accept or deny any scholarship application at our discretion, based on the above eligibility criteria, candidate interview and the completeness of the application and essay.

Key Dates

These are approximate dates to help give you a better idea of how your year will go and if you and your teen can commit.  These dates shift every year due to a variety of factors.

  • February 1, 202x - Sign up for 4H -

  • February 202x TBD- Foundation for the Preservation of the Honey Bee Essay online submitted to Dr Judy Wu-Smart

  • March - April - TBD - UNL Beekeeping Class & Field Day (Multiple dates typically available)

  • April 15th - TBD Foundation for the Preservation of the Honey Bee Essay Due

  • Late April - early May - TBD Pick up package bees - (weather & supplier dependent)

  • Mid August  - Enter a poster at the State Fair 

    • Poster should contain what you have learned about beekeeping.

  • August 23 - September 2 - Work 1- 6 hour shift at the State Fair beekeeping exhibit in Grand Island -

    • Student and one guardian will receive entry tickets.   

    • You may work more than 1 shift if you wish

  • January/February the following year- NBA annual Winter Conference

    • Give a 5-10 minute presentation about your year in beekeeping. 

    • Best presentation will be voted on by attendees and the winner will receive a free package of bees for the following season

Optional but highly encouraged 

  • March 202x  TBA - Bee Hive Equipment assembly session & potluck in Marquette, NE

    • At the assembly session we will provide a list of optional items that may be needed during the year.

    • Bring a side or dessert.

    • Main meat dish will be provided.


  • 1st Weekend in June - NE Kansas Beekeeping Fun Day - Lawrence, Kansas - great additional learning experience

  • July 202x - Nebraska Beekeeping Association Bee Fun Day

  • Sign up for free for UNL’s Great Plains Master Beekeeping -

Image by Eve Maier

NBA Youth Scholarship Application

We will be accepting applications for the 2024 Youth Scholarship on October 1, 2024

Beekeeper Holding a Honeycomb


A Message from Dr. Judy Wu-Smart

Great job to all the 2022 NBA Youth Scholars on their 4-H Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees essay submissions. I really enjoyed reading all the essays and appreciate your effort working through such a difficult topic especially for new beekeepers.

Congratulations to the following scholars.

1st place: Ethan Gabel

2nd place: Titus Sander

3rd place: Evan Kinnison

These winning scholars did an excellent job researching the limited literature on this topic and incorporating information with interviews and cited references. They will each receive a monetary prize from Nebraska Beekeeper’s Association and the 1st place winner’s essay will be submitted to The 2022 National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition as our representative for the state of Nebraska.

Thanks again for all your work on these essays and I look forward to seeing you at the NE state fair this summer!

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