The State Bee Keeping Essay Contest for 2009 has been announced and this year's essay topic is: “The Dance Language of Bees”. Honey bees possess the ability to communicate thedistance and direction of resources to their nestmates. They employ a symbolic dance languagein which the position of the sun is symbolically represented by gravity, and a trained observer can watch their dances and predict where they are foraging. The use of symbolic language by an insect has made them one of the most studied animals. This year’s essay contest invites participants to learn about the honey bee’s dance language, how it was discovered, how it works and how it provides colonies the ability to find and exploit floral resources. To enter, you must be an active 4-H member. The deadline for entering is January 31, 2009. There are cash prizes for the state contest and the state winner is forwarded to the national contest where bigger cash prizes are up for grabs. To see more information, go to the link below.