Five Fast Figures about the National Geographic Bee

It’s Bee Season here at National Geographic!

Every year, the best young geography minds in the country converge at our headquarters here in Washington, D.C., to match wits and wisdom.

Here are some numbers to keep in mind:



Mo Rocca and finalists from the 2017 National Geographic Bee
Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

Mo Rocca will be returning as our National Geographic Bee moderator. This will be the third year Mo will join the Beehive. Soledad O’Brien preceded him, and Alex Trebek moderated the Bee from its first competition until 2013.




busy bees

For five fabulous staffers at National Geographic, every season is Bee season! These hardworking folks—don’t call them drones—are responsible not only for the compelling questions, but also for organizing information, registering schools, meeting competitors and their families, and making sure the school bees, state bees, and the “Big Bee” keep buzzing!




Alex Trebek interacts with Bee contestants in 1989.
Photograph by Sisse Brimberg, National Geographic

The Bee is celebrating its 30th birthday this year! That’s a lot of questions, a lot of answers, a lot of nerves, a lot of relief! Take a look at how some former champions are using their geographic knowledge to change the world.




buzzing bees

More than 4,600 students competed in National Geographic State Bees. Of those, 54 students representing U.S. states and territories will compete in the National Geographic Bee Finals. (50 states + Washington, D.C. + Atlantic Territories + Pacific Territories + Department of Defense Schools.) Meet this year’s finalists here!



in the BEEHIVE

A student talks to the press after his National Geographic Bee win.
Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

During Bee season, the Bee community swells in size to colonize a big corner office here at HQ: the Beehive! As in every hive, each worker has a discrete job that makes the National Geographic Bee product so smooth and sweet. (And for a beehive, there are a lot of gofers around …)





Watch the 2018 National Geographic Bee at!

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