Honey Queen Monthly Article Archive
PA Honey Queen Report (June 2015)
by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen
Presenting about eggs and larvae at Eagle View Elementary School
I can officially say happy summer! June started off with a bang with lots of events that were spread out all over the state. I began the month in my hometown of Somerset by presenting to 150 first graders at Eagle View Elementary. The kids were so excited to receive a visit from the queen because they had just spent the previous weeks learning about all different kinds of insects. They were so receptive to my presentation and asked so many intelligent questions. Luckily, I was able to procure an observation hive so that they were able to see the bees in action. It was awesome to be able to present the students with the opportunity to locate eggs, larvae, pollen, honey and the queen. After the presentation, I received handfuls of thank you letters from the students explaining how happy they were that I was able to come and visit.
Next I headed to the Somerset Lake Fest to be among the vendors who were spreading awareness for the conservation of local wildlife. Festival attendees were able to enjoy a sweet treat of honey butter spread over a vanilla wafer while I spoke to them about the importance of honeybees. I had many individuals stop by and inquire on how to get started in beekeeping and was so glad to provide them with helpful hints on how to become a beginner beekeeper.
Getting interviewed by a local Erie news station during National Pollinator Week
During National Pollinator Week, I had the opportunity to visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie for their first annual celebration of foods created by pollinators. Guests were able to sample a myriad of delicacies including wine, almonds, chocolate, cheese and fruit. The PSBA offered several different varieties of honey for tasting so that guests could experience the different colors and flavors of local PA honey. Fresh honey comb was also available for tasting. The night was highlighted by a fascinating presentation by a Penn State graduate student who is doing research on honeybees and honeybee health. At the end of the event, I was interviewed by the local news station and my segment aired during the 11 o’clock slot. It was so great to be able to reach out to over 30,000 people via television, especially during National Pollinator Week.
For my fourth event I visited the Somerset Rotary Club and presented on the chemical properties of honey and how that lends to honeys eternal shelf life. Clubs always seem to enjoy this presentation and this one was no different. I entertained lots of questions and was then presented with a lovely bottle of local maple syrup. Maybe in the future I can convince them to give out local honey instead? I think it’s a good idea!
My final event for the month of June took place in Beaver County. I attended Senator Vogel’s Kids Extravaganza and enjoyed handing out honey sticks and I “heart” honey stickers to the multitude of children in attendance. All of the kids enjoyed viewing the observation hive on display courtesy of the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association and then stopping by and tasting the labors of the bees’ hard work! By the end of the day Senator Vogel himself even stopped by to check out the bees and discuss the importance of local beekeepers.
As always thank you all for your continued support. If you would like for me to visit your upcoming event please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146. Hope to see you all soon!
PA Honey Princess Report
by Blair Hetherington - 2015 PA Honey Princess
Hello Beekeepers! I had a splendid month traveling and doing my duties. I would love to thank the York County Beekeepers for inviting me to their summer picnic. It was such a wonderful event! The food was fantastic and the people were even better. I got the chance to mingle and speak to some of the local beekeepers and hear how the year has been going. We also had a smoker demonstration to help some new beekeepers understand the device better and how to keep it lit longer!
I also had the pleasure of going to the Bucks County 4-H meeting to give a presentation on beekeeping! This was one of the first groups I’ve had this year that spent more time asking me questions than I did doing the actual presentation!!! I loved it because the students were extremely engaged. I was vastly impressed by the amount of knowledge they knew about beekeeping based on the advanced material they were asking questions on. I hope to see more of the state 4-H programs have as much interest and as good of behavior as this group!
That’s all for this month, I can’t wait to see what I have in store for the rest of the summer!!! If you would like to invite me or Queen Jessica to your event, contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (May 2015)
by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen
I don’t know about you, but Memorial Day excited me for summer! I am so looking forward to visiting county fairs all over Pennsylvania as well as attending other summertime events and festivals. I was able to visit two new counties this month, and am looking forward to visiting more in the near future.
Close up of the "attic window" style quilt that is being raffled off by Queen Jessica.
I started off the month of May by attending the Lewisburg Senior Health and Lifestyle Expo. Besides interacting with many people, I also had the opportunity to present on the wonders of the honey bee to a fairly sizable crowd. This was also the first event where I was able to debut the beautiful quilted wall hanging that I am raffling off for this years Queen’s Raffle. I’m very excited to begin raising money to support this fantastic program as well as the endeavors of myself and future Honey Queens.
Next stop was the Bear Creek Festival in Schuylkill County. This truly was a fantastic event that revolved around celebrating all things environmental, outdoors, natural and agricultural in the county. Kids of all ages flocked to my booth for a taste of honey and were then treated to an observation hive viewing courtesy of Twin Oaks Bee Ranch. I had an overwhelming amount of people stop by and inquire on how to start beekeeping. It’s such a fantastic feeling to educate and encourage these individuals to take up beekeeping for themselves.
Riding in style during the Somerset Memorial Day parade
On Memorial Day I was able to ride in style in the Somerset Memorial Day parade. My Honey Queen banner was displayed proudly amongst many American flags as we drove to commemorate and celebrate those who have fought for our country. As I’m sure you can guess, this Honey Queen doesn’t throw out candy…she throws out honey sticks! The crowd was overly excited to receive actual honey and shouts of “I love honey!” reverberated throughout the crowd. I was so happy to provide this sweet treat to youngsters, especially since it is so much healthier than candy!
Educating about the smoker at Camp Blue Diamond
My final event in May took place at the Blue Diamond Camp in Huntingdon County. I was able to speak to two groups of campers about the three different bees in the hive as well as dress them up in traditional beekeeping garb. They really enjoyed taking apart and putting back together my miniature model of a Langstroth hive.
As always, thank you all for your continued encouragement and support. If any of you are interested in hosting either myself or Princess Blair or purchasing a raffle ticket for the quilted wall hanging, please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Princess Report
by Blair Hetherington - 2015 PA Honey Princess
April was a great month of promotions for me! I had the wonderful opportunity to be involved in some great educational experiences this month. I was asked to attend Midd-West High School for a Mother-Daughter event on April 10. At this event, vendors and educational groups from the state were invited for an evening to spend some time with these lovely ladies. I got the chance to educate them on beekeeping at a state and national level, and how important bees are to our ecosystem and food supply. The girls received it well and I enjoyed meeting the students to talk to them one on one with their mothers.
Princess Blair, members of the Beekeepers of the Susquehanna Valley and American Princess Hayden provided great information on beekeeping during the Senior Expo.
Later in the month on April 14, I had the chance to go close to home for the Senior Expo at the Bloomsburg Fair grounds. At the event, I worked with the American Honey Princess, Hayden Wolf, to offer honey samples to guests in the attempt to show them how bees going to different pollen sources can really affect the taste of the honey they purchase. I also got the chance to inform the public on local beekeepers in the area and where they can go for pure product. Overall it was a great success!
As we get closer to summer the schedule is filling up, but we still have some days open. To invite Queen Jessica or me to your event, contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (April 2015)
by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen
April was my busiest month to date. I was able to attend 7 events, in 4 different counties! Did you know that Pennsylvania has 67 counties total? So far I have visited 6 counties and have events planned in 6 more. I’m hoping that I will be able to grow this number of counties visited by the end of my reign.
Queen Jessica had a great time meeting members of the Confluence Lions Club.
For my first event of the month I traveled to Confluence to speak to the Confluence Lions club about the fascinating chemical properties of honey. I received such a warm welcome and am looking forward to speaking to other Lions Clubs in the future. The following day I visited the Somerset Kiwanis Club and presented on the Langstroth Hive. I love educating the citizens of our state on how this beekeeping staple was invented by a fellow Pennsylvanian!
For my third event, I was invited to a local nursery school to educate on bees during their “Insect Week.” I read the students a book entitled The Beeman by Laurie Krebs, which gave them a little insight on what it’s like to be a beekeeper as well as how bees create honey. After I was finished reading the story, the kids set to work creating some bee bookmarks and snacking on a honeycomb cereal snack. It was so great to sit down with local children and teach them all about how beneficial honeybees are to our environment.
Queen Jessica shows kids how to dress like a beekeeper at York's Go Green in the City.
In preparation for Earth Day I traveled to York to attend the Go Green in the City street fair. I had a fantastic time educating the 4,000+ visitors about honeybees as well as educating children about beekeeping garb in with my interactive “Dress Like a Beekeeper” display. It was so much fun to see the kids running around in a bee suit. You certainly don’t get that opportunity every day! From York I then traveled to Hershey to attend the 93rd annual Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Educational Conference and Trade Show. The PSBA set up shop to educate members of local municipalities on the best practices for handling honeybee legislation. We really got our organizations name out in there and many supervisors stopped for information and a free honey stick.
Queen Jessica is celebrating Earth Day at Waynesburg University.
For my final events of the month I traveled to Waynesburg to educate young and old about the importance of honeybees. I first stopped at the Waynesburg senior center where I presented on products of the hive, while also demonstrating how to create lotion bars from beeswax. All of the seniors really enjoyed asking questions and sampling the freshly made lotion. I then traveled to Waynesburg University to participate in their Earth Day fair. I was able to set up a table with lots of educational resources as well as hand out honey sticks to interested passerby. It was so great to reach out to college age students, especially the day before Earth Day. I did my best to express how extremely important honeybees are to our planet.
Thank you all so much for your continued support. If you would like for me to visit your county please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146. Hope to see you all soon!
PA Honey Queen Report (March 2015)
by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen
It’s finally spring! Although snow flurries are still on the forecast, the sun is beginning to show its face every once in a while in Somerset County. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some warm weather.
Thank you to everyone who makes Cornucopia such a successful event.
Earlier this month I headed to Harrisburg for my first ever visit to our state’s capital building. I was both nervous and excited because I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. However the Cornucopia event greatly exceeded my expectations. The Pennsylvania State Beekeepers booth really stood out during the event as a crowd favorite. All of our state legislators appreciated the honey bears that we handed out. Many commented on how they look forward to stopping by our booth every year and how much they enjoy sweetening their tea with honey or drizzling it on their morning cereal. Toward the end of the night I had the opportunity to meet Lieutenant Governor Stack as well as the newly elected Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding. All in all it was so great to meet with our state representatives and discuss important issues concerning beekeepers and honeybees.
My next adventure came in the form of a vacation. Although I left my “kingdom” of Pennsylvania I still proudly represented the PSBA while I was in Florida. While traversing numerous flea markets, I chatted with several local beekeepers and bought more than my fair share of local Floridian varieties of honey. My cupboard is now stocked with Tupelo, Orange Blossom, Kumquat, Palmetto, Gallberry and Florida’s Holly. I also met a future Florida honey queen named Selene. Little Selene helps her father manage their 300+ hives and bottles and sells her “Sweet Selene” honey. It is so exciting to see the future generation of female beekeepers!
Representing the PSBA at the Summer Smiles Honey Open House.
My second event of the month was a lovely open house hosted by Summer Smiles Honey Farm located in Stoystown, PA. I was able to set up shop in their fantastic honey house that was chock full of educational resources. Aside from hives, bee suits and smokers they also had two observation hives as well as numerous educational posters on the wall, one of which was designed by our 2009 Honey Queen, Maya Althouse. The honey queen’s legacy lives on! Throughout the night I handed out lots of information as well as educated many about queen bees and how they populate the hive.
Looking forward, the final weekend of the month I will be attending the Meyersdale Maple Festival. A good friend mine won the title of Pennsylvania Maple Queen. I have already informed her that I support her reign; however honey tops maple syrup every time. Hopefully I don’t wind up getting myself into a sticky situation with those fighting words...
Just a reminder, as summer draws nearer our schedules are filling up fast! I would love to attend any of your upcoming meetings or events. If interested in hosting either myself or Princess Blair please contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (February 2015)
by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen
Queen Jessica talks about the queen bee during her presentation at Siemen’s Lakeview Manor.
While entering into the second month of my reign I was able to spend February educating many in the Somerset County area about the wonders of beekeeping. I first paid a visit to Siemen’s Lakeview Manor, where I presented a short educational speech and a cooking demonstration to a room full of hungry onlookers. After my demonstration, many reminisced about past cooking endeavors while they enjoyed my honey applesauce cake as well as some homemade honey vanilla ice cream. One woman in particular stands out in my mind because she began a conversation about how her husband had been a beekeeper. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, and I was glad that I was able to reach out and spend some time with the residents.
The following week I was invited to speak at a Pennsylvania Famers Club meeting in Rockwood, PA. For close to an hour I explained the inner workings of the hive, bee biology and interesting facts about the honey industry. Everyone enjoyed my colorful PowerPoint as well as the bee suit, smoker, and miniature Langstroth hive that I brought as a visual aid. After my presentation I was approached by the Rockwood School FFA teacher who expressed her interest in beekeeping. She asked many questions about how to get started and hopes to start a classroom hive. In the future, I’m hoping to have the opportunity to visit the school again and speak with her students.
Queen Jessica showing off a PSBA 110th Anniversary t-shirt during the Western PA Beekeeping Seminar.
On Valentine’s Day I travelled to Pittsburgh to attend the Western PA Beekeeping Seminar. I was able to introduce myself to the crowd as well as touch on what the Honey Queen program has to offer. I then spent the day interacting with those in attendance at the PSBA booth. In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit with the vendors as well as attend two very interesting seminars. The first seminar touched on the value added products that can be created from the hive. The second was a honey cooking demonstration where I learned how to make heart shaped honey lollipops. I also got to taste test honey raspberry lemonade, homemade honey granola and honey pumpkin bread. After the seminar I loaded up my car with PSBA brochures and t shirts and headed out into the snow to journey back to Somerset.
The following week proved to be a crazy flurry of activity. Unfortunately due to extremely cold temperatures, school was cancelled on a day I was scheduled to have four school presentations. I’m hoping that I will be able to make that time up later in the year. I then set my sights on presenting at the Somerset Exchange club’s weekly meeting. I was able to explain the secrets of honeys eternal shelf life to the room of business professionals. After I was finished presenting they asked me many questions including where to buy local honey. I was so happy that I was able to inspire them to buy from local beekeepers.
As always I would love to attend any of your upcoming meetings or events. If interested in hosting either myself or Princess Blair please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.Best wishes,
PA Honey Princess Report
by Blair Hetherington - 2015 PA Honey Princess
Greetings all bee enthusiasts! February was a month of firsts for me. That’s right, I’m talking about school presentations. I was very lucky to get the chance to attend the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture conference in State College.
Princess Blair with her new friends after her presentation at the PASA conference.
My opportunity was to teach K-2nd grade about pollination and the importance of bees. This demonstration proved to teach me more than the kids. Though the students had a fantastic time learning about the importance of pollination for their food source and how bees pollinating different plants can change the taste of the honey, I learned that honey tasting is not exactly the easiest thing to do with elementary students! Let’s just say things got a little messy.
Overall I felt my presentation went well. I learned that sometimes asking young children if they have any questions leads them to not ask a question, but instead tell you the highlights of their day. This includes: what was eaten for breakfast, what time Mom and Dad made them go to bed the night before, and how well they can swim without floaties!
I thank the students for giving me the chance to learn about how much knowledge they had and to gain experience for my next school visit. I look forward to next few months of school visits! If you would like me or Queen Jessica to attend any of your events, please contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (January 2015)
by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen
Hello Everyone! Greetings from snowy Somerset County!
I must say that my 2015 reign started out with a bang at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. This was my first time ever visiting the Farm Show and it really was a fantastic experience. I arrived in Harrisburg on Friday in order to start preparing for opening day. I had the wonderful opportunity to observe the honey judging as well as set up a display promoting the honey queen program. With the assistance of former Honey Queen Alyssa Fine we were able to create a beautiful, eye catching display that really got our program’s name out there. We had many interested young ladies sign up to be contacted with further information about how to become a honey queen. Isn’t that great?
Queen Jessica and Princess Blair met with then Gov. Tom Corbett during the PA Preferred reception at the PA Farm Show.
Later that evening Princess Blair and I had the opportunity to network with many different people at the PA Preferred gala. Throughout the night we shook many hands and were introduced to then Governor Corbett and first lady Susan Corbett. We also had the chance to chat with other commodity group representatives and several members of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association.
Opening day at the Farm Show was both exciting and hectic. Princess Blair and I started our morning by presenting a basket full of honey, beeswax and pollen to Secretary of Agriculture George Greig. We then had the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania beekeepers in the parade of agriculture located in the main farm show arena. It was a fantastic feeling to stand in front of the crowds representing such an important industry. Later that day I had the opportunity to help with the PA Preferred Cookie, Brownie or Bar baking contest. Interestingly enough, the blue ribbon went to a brownie decorated with tiny sugar honey bees! After the contest it was great to be able to stand up on stage and invite the large group of people back to the three booths that the PSBA has at the Farm Show.
Queen Jessica greets Farm Show visitors during one of the many extraction demonstrations
Queen Jessica hands out samples of honey after an extraction demonstration.
Queen Jessica points out the queen bee to various visitors at the Farm Show Learning Center.
As the week wore on I had the opportunity to help out with several extraction demonstrations, one of which was broadcasted live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Afterward I stopped by the PCN booth to ask how many people view their Farm Show broadcasts. The number was a staggering, 1.8 million! When I wasn’t helping out with extractions, you could usually find me at the observation hives. I’ve discovered that I have a true passion for teaching young and old about the inner workings of the hive. I was also overwhelmed by the number of individuals who were interested in starting hives of their own but didn’t know how to start. I worked to encourage them to begin and many left our booth with their arms full of brochures about classes, equipment catalogs and lists of local beekeeping clubs.
Once I returned home from the Farm Show I began to look forward to my next event, Somerset’s Fire and Ice Festival. Although nowhere near the size of the PA Farm Show, I did have the opportunity to network with a good number of people. The children who I talked to really enjoyed the "I love honey" stickers that I handed out as well as petting my honey "bee"-gle, Zelda. Since Fire and Ice is a very pet friendly festival I also handed out homemade peanut butter and honey dog treats with a recipe card. This was a unique thing to do because many only consider honey for their personal consumption, even though it a healthy treat for our furry friends as well.
In closing, I would like to thank you all for your continued support of the Honey Queen Program. I would also like to give a huge shout out to all those who mentored me during Farm Show week as well as all the volunteers who donated their time to the education center, honey ice cream booth or market place. I am overwhelmed by your hard work and kindness and I am so proud to not only represent but be a part of such a spectacular group of people.
I hope to see you all in the near future! I would love to come speak at one of your future events or group meetings. To invite me or Princess Blair to your event, contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Princess Report (January 2015)
by Hetherington - 2015 PA Honey Princess
Who says being a Princess isn’t tough work? This month I got the full view of the job in just one solid week! That’s right, I’m talking about the Pennsylvania Farm Show!
From January 9th-17th, I spent almost every day buzzing around the Farm Show. Many days were spent talking to the public and selling great products the PSBA had for sale at the show. It gave me a great chance to meet all of the great folks that keep our association running strong. I also really enjoyed helping out at the food court booth and getting the chance to talk to the public one on one about our industry!
The thing that I was truly thankful for at Farm Show was all the chances and opportunities I received to do interviews and reach a larger audience. What astounded me most was nearly all of the reporters I talked to had little to no knowledge about beekeeping. It really gave me a chance to educate them from the start and give them facts to share with their viewers/readers.
The best part of the whole week was definitely being asked to be an Angel Food Cake judge! I got the chance to see a completely other section of farm show that I normally would not get the chance to see. As a child I started out just volunteering for the Vegetable Growers Association and would see the food court every year at most. This year I was everywhere from the large arena to being interviewed by the newspaper over the phone in the corners of the pens. Any back way I could get to the booths to help the association, I found and memorized so I could be everywhere at once.
Overall I am thankful for the chance I had to represent the association this month. I made many connections with the public and loved every minute of teaching people about beekeeping. I helped them to understand the importance of our industry as well as they helped me to learn and adapt my teaching styles of all levels of understanding beekeeping. I would especially like to thank all of the volunteers who gave up so much of their time during the week to help in the booth and help me learn a little more about their products. I look forward to working with them all in the future!
And don’t forget, if you would like me to come to any events this year, contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (September 2014)
by Kaylee Kilgore - 2014 PA Honey Queen
Hello beekeepers! I hope everyone is having a great summer, and that your bees are well. August has been a busy month for me! I have attended 5 events so far this month, with a few more to come.
My first event this month was August 6th at the Butler Farm Show in Butler, Pa. I worked with two local beekeepers at their stand where they were selling a variety honey products. I also had the opportunity to teach the public about bees while helping them find the queen in an observation hive, including explaining why we mark queens.
My next event of the month was the PSBA summer picnic on August 9, held at the Wade Fisher Bee Farm in McVeytown. The picnic was a great opportunity for me to meet and introduce myself for the first time to many PSBA members. During the picnic, I provided an update on my work for the PSBA. I had already attended 20 events!
Queen Kaylee works at the PSBA ice cream stand during Ag Progress Days.
Queen Kaylee met with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett during Ag Progress Days.
August 12th through the 14th I attended Ag Progress Days near State College. Along with American Honey Princess Elena Hoffman, we answered many questions from the public about honey bees, and helped sell honey sweetened ice cream and root beer. At the Government and Industry luncheon, we had the chance to speak to Secretary of Agriculture, George Greig, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.
On August 16th, I attended the National Honeybee Day event at the Wildlands Conservatory in Emmaus. It was a fantastic event, with an observation hive and extraction demonstrations for children, and information for adults about the importance of honeybees as pollinators, and how to maintain a pollinator friendly garden. I gave a cooking demonstration with honey banana smoothies, and described some of the benefits of cooking with honey.
Queen Kaylee educates some children about the observation hive at the Harford Fair.
Finally, I attended the Harford Fair in New Milford, where I worked with the Susquehanna Beekeepers Association at their “honey hut,” where they were selling honey products. I helped answer questions about the observation hive, and helped customers choose what kind of honey to buy. I also met the association’s youngest member, who is going into 6th grade this year. For such a young girl, she has a profound interest in honeybees, and her passion is inspiring.
As the summer comes to an end, don’t miss out on your chance to invite me to your fall events. To invite me, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (July 2014)
by Kaylee Kilgore - 2014 PA Honey Queen
Hello Again Beekeepers,
The past two months have been filled with presentations for me, from 4-H clubs, conventions and lots of storytimes.
June started off with a visit to a 4-H club in Rockwood PA on the 5th. The members were very interested in what they can do to get involved in beekeeping and during the meeting they planted pollinator friendly flowers. I was hopefully able to provide some encouragement to them as potential future beekeepers.
FFA Convention: Queen Kaylee met with other commodity representatives during the Pennsylvania FFA convention in State College.
On Thursday, June 12, I had the opportunity to attend the closing session of the 2014 Pennsylvania FFA Convention, where I promoted the Honey Queen program to other young women. I also spent time with some of the retiring State Officers, as well as the PA Fair Queen, the Pennsylvania Rabbit King, and several Dairy Princesses from around the state. This was a great event to meet and network with other commodity representatives from Pennsylvania.
June 24th and 25th I attended the National Ag in the Classroom Convention in my hometown of Hershey. I assisted Cathy Vorisek in presenting information about honeybees to teachers from all around the United States, and even a few from Canada.
Hollidaysburg Library: Queen Kaylee shows youth attending the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library some of the tools beekeepers use, including gloves and the bee suit.
With the start of July my events focused on visiting several libraries. I visited three libraries and reached more than 120 children. I attended the Hollidaysburg Area Library on July 8 and 9, educating area youth on the importance of honey bees. We did a bee craft and the children got to see an observation hive.
On July 14 at the Roaring Spring Community Library, I spoke to older children, who took the time out of their summer reading to learn about honeybees.
The weather was beautiful on July 16 when I visited the Valley Community Library in Peckville, so we went outside to play a game, where the kids got to be honeybees and pollinated their own flowers. Hopefully this helped them understand how important honeybee pollination is.
At the end of the month, on July 26, I attended the Ligonier County Market and promoted the industry with a local beekeeper. Thank you to Paul Bagnall for inviting me to the market.
As the summer continues, don’t miss out on your chance to invite me to your event. To invite me to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (May 2014)
by Kaylee Kilgore - 2014 PA Honey Queen
During May I had the opportunity to speak to a wide variety of students, from first graders to sixth grade science classes.
Queen Kaylee speaks to children and adults during EcoFest about the beeswax candles they will be making.
To finish out April though, I attended Ecofest at Mifflin Park Elementary School on Saturday, April 26, where I made beeswax candles with students while educating them about honey bees. May kicked off with the West Manheim Elementary School's Science Fair, where students were able to see an observation hive and sample honey sticks. On May 17th, I traveled to the annual Farm to Table Day at Fox Chase Farm in Philadelphia, where I spoke to learners of all ages about products of the hive.
The last week of May was filled with school presentations. I spoke to Central Dauphin Middle School's sixth grade science classes, Hershey Primary School's 3rd and 4th grade classes, and the first grade class at the Scott School in Harrisburg. All of the students were very engaged, and many were interested in getting involved in beekeeping. I look forward to more school presentations in the upcoming weeks!
As the summer begins and promotion requests continue to flow in for 2014, don’t miss out on your chance to invite me to your event. To invite me to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (April 2014)
by Kaylee Kilgore - 2014 PA Honey Queen
I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful spring weather! My college semester is quickly finishing and this month I attended the Farm Fest at the Lehigh Valley Zoo. I had a great time educating visitors about the importance of honey bees and pollination. I also made a bee craft with the children, and gave out “I love Honey” stickers to kids who told me something they know about honey bees. I was fascinated by how many parents were interested in learning as well, and had lots of great questions!
As summer is quickly approaching, don’t miss out on your chance to invite me to your event. To invite me to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (February 2014)
by Kaylee Kilgore - 2014 PA Honey Queen
My name is Kaylee Kilgore, and I am honored to be your 2014 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. I am from Hershey, Pa., and I am currently pursuing a Global Studies degree at Lehigh University. I was crowned at the Western Pennsylvania Beekeeping Seminar in Mars on Saturday, February 15th. While I was there, I met a ton of fantastic beekeepers. I also received some great advice from 2014 American Honey Princess Elena Hoffman, and had the chance to watch her give her year in review to the Western PA Beekeepers. It was a wonderful opportunity to see what being a Honey Queen is like.
The next event I attended was the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild’s short course. There I learned some intriguing things about beekeeping that I had not known before. I got to meet lots of new and aspiring beekeepers, as well as some students and teachers hoping to establish hives at their school. It was inspiring to see young people so passionate about beekeeping.
After that, I had Honey Queen Training, also known as “bootcamp”! Over the course of the weekend, I prepared school presentations, practiced media interviews, and learned how to do cooking demonstrations. I left training prepared to represent the beekeeping industry and the PSBA all over Pennsylvania.My goals for this year include:
- Increasing the likes on the PAHQ Facebook page to 350 or more.
- To give 50 educational presentations
- To secure two candidates to compete for the 2015 title
I look forward to meeting you all this year. As promotion requests continue to flow in for 2014, don’t miss out on your chance to invite me to your event. To invite me to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (December 2013)
by Rachael Bryson - Honey Queen Program Chair
The new year has already been filled with many exciting moments for the Honey Queen program. To start, our 2013 Queen Elena Hoffman was selected as the 2014 American Honey Princess during the American Beekeeping Federation Convention in Baton Rouge, La. Elena will be joined this year in her travels across North American by Susannah Austin of Florida, who is the 2014 American Honey Queen.
A total of four contestants participated in the four day competition. Joining Elena and Susannah were contestants from Texas and Iowa. All of these young women did an excellent job representing their states. You can follow Elena's travels this year by liking the American Honey Queen Program Facebook page.
Queen Elena and other commodity representatives gather for a group photo before the Opening Ceremonies at the PA Farm Show.
Queen Elena presents the PSBA gift to George Greig, PA Secretary of Agriculture.
Queen Elena meets with PA Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife during the Farm Show.
Queen Elena teaching some children about the bees in the observation hive at the PSBA Farm Show learning center.
Queen Elena speaks with a couple who stopped by the learning center.
Queen Elena helping customers at the PSBA Ice Cream stand at the PA Farm Show.
Before heading to Baton Rouge, Elena represented the PSBA at the PA Farm Show. She assisted with preparing the honey displays before the show opened to the public, attended the Governor's reception and opening ceremonies, and working in our ever popular ice cream stand and learning center.
Our 2013 Princess, Jessica Aurand, also attend the Farm Show and worked in the learning center and ice cream stand. Photos from the Farm Show and ABF convention can be found on the PA Honey Queen Program Facebook page. For those of you who were not able to attend the convention, I wanted to share Elena's total promotion numbers again (these figures do not include the Farm Show or ABF convention).
- Attended 23 events
- Visited 18 counties
- Traveled 4,044 miles
- Reached 2,034,560 people
- Total value of promotions - $149,882
Congratulations to Elena and thank you to both Elena and Jessica for the outstanding work this year. In other news, as some of you may know we did not crown a 2014 Honey Queen during the convention. However, the committee is still working diligently to find a candidate to serve as our 2014 Queen, so keep checking our Facebook page for updates on this search.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Honey Queen Program. We are planning some special reunion activities at some of our events in celebration. If your group would be interested in hosting one of these reunions, please let me know. While it is still uncertain if we will have a 2014 Honey Queen, I encourage you to continue contacting me with event requests. Thank you all for your continued support of the Honey Queen Program.
PA Honey Queen Report (November 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
As the time comes when the leaves are almost completely off the trees and winter is quickly approaching, if not already here, I want to wish you all a happy and festive Thanksgiving! This month was wonderful with PSBA’s annual convention where I was able to see many friendly faces!
On the 8th of November I arrived back in Lewisburg just in time for the convention! I was able to walk around and greet many members who attended the convention and sell raffle tickets to raise money for the Honey Queen Program. Then, I changed into more formal attire and headed towards our lovely banquet! While there we ate plenty of delicious food, applauded the well-deserved recipients of awards, and also heard some speakers talk about how wonderful EAS was, which had been in Pennsylvania this year!
Next, I gave my marketing presentation on urban beekeeping in preparation for ABF and played some beekeeping jeopardy with past honey queens in honor of next year marking the 60th anniversary of the Honey Queen Program! Finally, Princess Jessica and I helped to show off some amazing raffle items to raise money for the program and gave our farewells. It was an amazing night spent with some magnificent people!
The next day, Saturday the 9th, both Princess Jessica and I watched some of the wonderful presentations that PSBA’s members had to offer. During the breaks we spoke with many members and welcomed those who we had not seen the previous day. Afterwards, we helped to pass out the honey awards to members and attended the business meeting. When the business for the day was settled we were able to have a little bite of something sweet when Jessica and I helped to cut the cake honoring the fast coming arrival of the Honey Queen Program’s 60th anniversary. It was a lovely celebration. Finally, to end the day Jessica and I gave a cooking demonstration including a honey yogurt parfait and a honey tropical fruit punch. Overall, it was a successful weekend for PSBA and we hope to see you in attendance next year!
The last thing I did for the month of November was give a persuasive speech at West Chester University on why honeybees are important to our society. The presentation was given to about 30 students and included talking about the misconception that honeybees are “mean and nasty” insects and teaching about why they are really one of the mellowest insects with stinging capacities. After touching on that topic I continued to persuade about how honeybees are important for pollination and through pollination important for our food supply. The last thing I mentioned was the money that the agricultural and pollination industry make and contribute to our countries revenues each year thanks to honey bees. Looking back, I would say that my fellow students really took something away from the presentation and that it was a great success for the industry.
Although my time as your 2013 Honey Queen is dwindling down, there is still enough time to invite me to your event! To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (August 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Hello fellow beekeepers! It was great seeing a bunch of you at the PSBA summer picnic in Philadelphia! I hope you’re all in good health and that your bees are as well! This month I’ve been a busy bee and have attended 8 wonderful promotions!
Farm Fest Craft
The first event I attended on the 2nd and 3rd of August was the Pennsylvania Organic Farm Fest. This promotion was held at the Grange Fair Grounds in Centre Hall and was a blast! There were plenty of vendors to talk to about beekeeping and why honey bees are so important for the agricultural industry. There were also many kids who loved getting a bee hand stamp if they could give me a fact about honeybees! It was a great promotion.
Next, I traveled down the street to my own county fair on the 5th, the Union County West End Fair. It was great to teach not only new faces about the importance of honeybees and pollination, but it was also awesome to teach my friends and community as well! During my time there I taught many people, handed out tons of “I love honey” stickers, and was given the chance to speak to one of our state representatives, Fred Keller.
Cooking Demo at EAS
After being in my home town, I headed toward West Chester from the 6th to the 9th for the Eastern Apicultural Society’s conference held at West Chester University. It was a magnificent week! Princess Jessica and I went to so many fantastic educational lectures such as honey processing, usurpation, honeybee communication, and much more! When we weren’t in classes we were mingling with many beginner and advanced beekeepers from all over the United States, while also selling lots of raffle tickets. Then, American Honey Princess, Emily Campbell, joined us and we gave classes on cooking with honey, helped with Kids & Bees, and helped EAS raffle their items at their banquet. It was a successful week for the beekeeping industry! Next year you can join EAS as it travels to Kentucky!
Immediately following the EAS conference, we attended the PSBA summer picnic held at Morris Arboretum. It was wonderful to catch up with PSBA members and speak about my travels as Honey Queen. During the picnic, Emily, Jessica, and I helped with the smoker lighting contest, and we each spoke about our work for the beekeeping industry.
Elena and Jessica - Ag Progress Days
From West Chester, Princess Jessica and I drove to State College for Ag Progress Days from the 13th through the 15th. On the 14th we attended the Ag Progress Days Luncheon where we were able to talk to the Secretary of Ag, George Greig, and also talk to many of our state representatives. We spent our time at Ag Progress not only scooping honey ice cream and selling honey root beer, but also eating some ourselves! We had a great time working hard to help raise money for the Honey Queen Program!
On the 16th I then traveled to Newville for the Cumberland County Ag Expo. While there I was able to talk to many individuals about honey bees, and had the privilege of being a judge for the Cumberland County Ag Expo Little Miss contest. Before the contest began I was given time to speak to the audience about my year so far, the Honey Queen Program, and a little bit about honeybees. It was a wonderful promotion.
From Newville, I got the splendid invitation to spend time with the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers Association who hosted National Honeybee Day, August 17th, in Emmaus! Together we had an awesome day using the observation hive as a tool to not only teach children, but also parents about honeybees. The observation hive is always available at the Wildlands Conservancy in Emmaus! During that time, some of the event volunteers gave extracting demonstrations. I gave a cooking demonstration with honey butter and honey raspberry lemonade. After that, we spent plenty of time teaching even more about honeybees and pollination and showing attendees live hives on the Conservancy. It was an awesome National Honeybee Day and a great success for the industry!
Andy Alm Interview
Finally, the last event I attended for the month was the Crawford County Fair in Meadville on the 19th. While there, I was able to spend plenty of time with Charlie and Cathy Vorisek at their honeybee booth. We not only were teaching kids at the observation hive, but also letting everyone taste different kinds of honey and explain to them how you can have so many different flavors of honey. While there, when I wasn’t in the Vorisek’s booth, Cathy had me out and about talking to many radio stations. I was able to talk to The Stream from Titusville for a radio and television interview, Froggy 100.3, Froggy 98.5, Majic 99.3, Majic 104. 5, Wuzz 94, Wuzz 107, Andy Alm who is the news director for Forever Broadcasting for a morning segment, and Cool 101.7. It was an amazing time teaching about honeybees and a huge success for the beekeeping industry and the Honey Queen Program thanks to Charlie and Cathy’s support.
Overall August was a busy but amazing month! After I finished all these events I spent my last weekend in August moving into college at West Chester University. If you’re bummed that you haven’t had time to schedule an event with Princess Jessica or I, don’t be! You still have a few months left to organize our attendance to your event! To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (July 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Hello everyone! With the heat wave that we had this month I hope all of you stayed hydrated and healthy! Along with making a fantastic scrapbook for you to see at the summer picnic I travelled to three promotions already this month and still have another one to go to!
Queen Elena at the Ligonier Country Market
The first wonderful promotion I attended was the Ligonier Country Market. I spent the day handing out brochures, honey sticks, and stickers. Also, I was able to answer many questions about the observation hive that was with me and show the public where the queen bee was located. While there, I helped to promote not only PSBA but also the local honey that was being sold at the market by at least two different vendors.
Queen Elena at the Collinsville Community Library
The next event I attended was held at Collinsville Community Library. I was able to present to a group of about 20 people on the role of the beekeeper, the basics of the hive, and why honeybees are so important for pollination. Three of the libraries employees had even become beekeepers recently and had some questions for me! After the presentation, I had the kids who attended paint rocks into their own personal honeybees. It was an amazing experience and a successful promotion for the beekeeping industry.
Towards the end of the month I made my way to the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library to present to a group of about 50 children. The children loved the great close up pictures of the three different bees in the hive. At least three of the children tried on the bee suit and all of the children passed around the smoker to see how it worked. At the end of the presentation the parents all got brochures with PSBA’s information and asked questions about what PSBA could offer them. Finally, everyone got some clover honey sticks to enjoy.
So far July has been an excellent month of promotions for the industry and PSBA! Coming up, August is packed full of new promotions! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to have Princess Jessica or I attend your event! To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (June 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Greetings PSBA members! As we all make our way to the halfway point of the year, I hope you are all doing well! My year as Honey Queen so far has been going fantastic and has been filled with PSBA promotions. This month I went to three different places to promote honeybees and the beekeeping industry.
The first promotion I attended on June 10th was a school presentation at Lincolnway Elementary in York. The students had just finished a whole section of class dedicated to honeybees and pollination. The students could answer so many of my questions about the different types of bees and the hive in general! They all did a great job in participating in my presentation! Afterwards, I gave each of the children honey sticks and allowed them to turn a rock into their own honeybee using paint! Finally, after cleaning up all the paint, the children asked question upon question about honeybees! It was a wonderful experience and I would certainly return to Lincolnway!
West End Senior Center
Penns Creek Retirement Home
The next two promotions I attended were on June 27th and 28th in Laurelton and Penns Creek. In Laurelton I visited the West End Senior Center and in Penns Creek the Penns Creek Retirement Home. It was a pleasant surprise to have a few promotions so close to home! I spent the morning, both Thursday and Friday, teaching the groups some basics on honey and tips for cooking with honey, while giving a cooking demonstration. I pre-made honey chocolate frosted cookies (the recipe can be found on www.honey.com) and blended some delicious Honey Raspberry Lemonade at the demonstrations (the recipe is in my recipe brochure). During the demonstrations I talked about the complex makeup of honey, such as how it contains naturally flavored sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. I also spoke on how honey is made in the hive and the versatility of honey in cooking. I told the residents that honey can be used as a sweetener, humectant, emulsifier, and to add flavor or enhance flavor in a dish. I had a wonderful time and am thrilled at how well the promotions went!
With July and August looking really busy don’t miss your chance to schedule a summer promotion with us! If you’re reading this and thinking “Well, I don’t have a summer event but I have one for the fall,” schedule with Rachel now! It never hurts to get a head start and fall promotions are already being scheduled! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to have Princess Jessica or I attend your event! To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (April 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Happy Earth day everyone, or rather, happy Earth month. There was no better way to spend time than to travel throughout Pennsylvania talking and teaching about how important honeybees are to the planet! In April, I went to two wonderful events!
Philly Food and Farm Festival
April started off with a huge event in Philadelphia called the Philadelphia Farm and Food Festival. There was a great turn out at the event and I’d estimate around 3,000 people were in attendance. It was great to spend time not only manning my booth but also being able to spend time with members of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. At my booth, I received many great questions about bees and how someone could become a beekeeper. I handed out many brochures to people also interested in becoming a member of PSBA to help them on their way to becoming beekeepers. I also was given the chance to speak briefly on PSBA and the Honey Queen Program at one of the Guild member's Beekeeping 101 presentations. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend attending the festival next year if you're in the area!
Queen Elena helping kids at Eco Fest
Queen Elena and the kids at Eco Fest
My last event of the month was spent in Shillington Pennsylvania at Eco-Fest. There truly was no better way to spend the weekend before Earth Day than educating students, their parents, and even some teachers on the importance of honeybees and pollination. I had a marvelous day exchanging my stamp on their Eco-Fest cards (this allowed them to move to the second floor of the school for other Earth-friendly games!) and “I Love Honey” stickers for them creating their own bee and telling me one fact they knew about honeybees. Many of the children and parents had plenty of questions and left my booth amazed at some of the information they learned. Even the principal kept returning to my booth to listen in on what new topic I was teaching about honeybees. It was a great day of promoting the industry, PSBA, the Honey Queen Program, and of teaching about honeybees!
My year as Pennsylvania Honey Queen is flying by quickly. As summer is approaching I encourage you to invite me to your fair or festival! Don’t miss out on the chance to have the Honey Queen or Princess at your event! To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (March 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Queen Elena with one of the homeschool students after her presentation
Greetings everyone! I hope all of you had a great Easter and enjoyed some time with your family. March was not an extremely busy month for the program but I did manage to head to Manheim to speak with a group of students.
Queen Elena talking about the drone
During the month, I spoke with a group of homeschooled students and their parents on the basics of the hive and beekeeping. Before my presentation began, the parents were extremely interested in beekeeping and asked if they and their children could become beekeepers as well. My answer, of course, was yes! Then I started my presentation for about 15 students who were very enthusiastic for learning. Some of the students had even been to the ABF convention in January. Almost every child tried on the bee suit and passed around the mock hive and smoker. After the build-a-bee craft, we finished up the presentation by eating muffins drizzled with honey! I loved the time spent teaching these children and talking to their parents about PSBA and how they can become involved in the beekeeping industry. I look forward to many more promotions this year!
This month the Honey Queen Program brochures were also completed! Pick up a brochure for many delicious recipes to enjoy and honey facts! Our schedule is filling up quickly; don’t miss out on the chance to have the Honey Queen or Princess at your event! To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (February 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Hello everyone! Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this year! Hopefully, according to legend, Phil is right and we will have an early spring so that our bees can begin foraging! Regardless of what Phil has to say, I’ve already been busy in February promoting PSBA and the beekeeping industry, even with the chilly weather.
February began with Cornucopia at the state capital building in Harrisburg on the 5th. This is an event where all or most of our state representatives and legislators are in attendance, and is a great time to promote the industry and honeybee research to lawmakers. Having never been to the state capital building before, it was a great experience. I was given the opportunity to speak with many of the state representatives, such as Senator Yaw and the Secretary of Agriculture George Greig; hand out flyers at PSBA’s booth; and give out little jars of Pennsylvania honey. At this promotion I also had the honor of meeting our state’s Dairy Princess and the State Fair Queen.
Queen Elena at PASA Convention
The next event I attended was the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture Convention, or PASA, in State College. I traveled there on Saturday the 9th and was excited to give my first set of presentations to children. I gave presentations to two groups of children. The first group was filled with kindergarten through 2nd grade and I was overjoyed at how much the children already knew about honeybees. My presentations consisted of teaching the children the basics about honeybees, pollination, and beekeeping. Many of the children loved trying on the bee suit and made some impressive paper plate bees during my craft time with them. The next group of children, 3rd grade through 5th grade, not only had a basic knowledge of honeybees but also shared their own experiences of helping their parents keep honeybees. It was overall an amazing experience and I loved answering the children’s questions about honeybees.
Cooking Demonstration by Queen Elena and Alyssa Fine
The final event I traveled to this month was the Western Pennsylvania Beekeeping Seminar in Mars. Throughout the day I was at the EAS booth helping to sell quilt raffle tickets, shirts, books, and give away pens. During this time I took a little break from the booth and gave a speech on the Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program. This was a great opportunity to teach about the program and how it supports PSBA and the beekeeping industry itself. Even though I have only been to a few promotions so far this year, I already had plenty of great experiences to share with everyone at the seminar. Finally, to end the day at the seminar, Alyssa Fine and I gave a cooking demonstration on the benefits of cooking with honey. We had four great recipes to offer and many tips on cooking with honey. At the end of the demonstration we had plenty of samples to give out. It was a lovely weekend and I’m excited for more great experiences and opportunities to promote!
The first month of my reign as Honey Queen has already been a rewarding one. I’m thoroughly enjoying promoting the beekeeping industry and PSBA throughout Pennsylvania. As my year progresses onward and promotion requests continue to flow in for 2013, don’t miss out on your chance to invite me to your event. To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at email@example.com or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (January 2013)
by Elena Hoffman - 2013 PA Honey Queen
Hello, fellow beekeepers! I hope that as we reach the heart of winter all of you are faring well! I’m excited to introduce myself as the 2013 Pennsylvania Honey Queen! As of now, I am a senior in high school currently residing in Union County. I am in the National Honors Society and am a member of my high school’s Spanish and Interact club. I plan to attend college in the fall at West Chester University for Biology.
Honey Queen and Princess
In January I began my promotion year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. My activities there included working in the ice cream stand, helping at the learning center, and participating in a cooking demonstration. I helped to sell honey ice cream and waffles and met some outstanding beekeepers while working in the ice cream stand. At the learning center I answered many questions from the public about the live observation hives and gave children bee stamps. Then Jessica, our 2013 Honey Princess, and I helped a chef prepare salsas with honey for a live crowd. I had a fantastic time!
During the last weekend of the Pennsylvania Farm Show I also attended the American Beekeeping Federation’s convention in Hershey. During the two days I was at the convention I watched how the auction worked to raise money for the American Honey Queen Program and I attended their annual banquet, where I was honored to see the new American Honey Queen and Princess crowned. It was an excellent experience and I enjoyed meeting the beekeepers at the banquet.
I am excited for my year of promoting the beekeeping industry and PSBA. I am looking forward to meeting many beekeepers and teaching about the importance of the industry. I am honored to have been selected as this year’s honey queen. To invite me or Princess Jessica to an event, contact Rachel Bryson, queen program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
PA Honey Queen Report (December 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Greetings once again beekeepers! I hope that everyone had a very blessed Thanksgiving spent with your loved ones. On November 9 and 10, I attended the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Convention in Lewisburg. During the annual banquet I gave my three minute marketing presentation on the versatility of honey, which I will be presenting during the American Beekeeping Federation convention in Hershey this January. Thank you to everyone who gave me very helpful ideas to make my presentation the best that it can be.I also gave a summary of my year so far, which included:
- 166 Presentations
- 16,164 Miles Traveled
- 4.4 Million People Reached Throughout my Year
2013 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Elena Hoffman, center, is joined by 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Jessica Long, left, and former Pennsylvania Honey Queen and current American Honey Queen Alyssa Fine after the PSBA annual banquet.
At the beginning of my reign I set three goals for myself. My first goal was to do promotions in 30 different counties; I was able to visit 33 different counties this year. My second goal was to have 100 Facebook fans by the end of my reign. The Facebook page is a great way to share pictures from promotions and let people know about recipes using honey. We now have 108 Facebook fans. If you have not “liked” our page, please visit it and like us! The last goal that I set for myself was to get two contestants for the 2013 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Contest. When I was at the Union County West End Fair, I met a very intelligent beekeeper and her name is Elena Hoffman. I had the honor of crowning Elena as our 2013 Honey Queen and I know that she will do a great job representing Pennsylvania beekeepers. I would like to wish her good luck as she travels the state.
On November 17, I attended the 2 Cs and A Bee’s Annual Banquet. It was really great celebrating this annual event with local beekeepers. I was given time to give a summary of my year to the association that sponsored and supported me through this whole journey. Afterward, I sold chances to win the beautiful quilt benefiting the American Honey Queen Program.
As the end of my reign is getting closer, I am excited to attend the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference that will be held in Hershey this January. I will be attending and representing Pennsylvania beekeepers. In preparation for the American competition, I am selling raffle tickets to benefit the national program. The tickets, which are for a Queen-size quilt, are $5 each and you do not need to be present to win. To purchase a ticket, please visit me at the Pennsylvania Farm Show or contact Rachel.
This year truly has been an amazing opportunity for me. I want to thank all of the PSBA members and all of the county associations for making this year possible.
Once again, thank you for this opportunity over this past year! Please contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or (717) 643-0010 to book your date for Elena Hoffman, our 2013 Honey Queen.
PA Honey Queen Report (November 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello again beekeepers! This year has just seemed to fly by! I am really looking forward to the PSBA annual meeting in Lewisburg on November 9 and 10. Make your reservations now and I hope to see everyone there!
I finished up September with a promotion at the Bryce Jordan Center, which is part of Penn State University. I attended the Great Insect Fair, working with Penn State students and Maryann Frazer. I helped with the taste testing of thirteen different types of honey that was provided, as well as answering questions at one of the two observation hives. I also had a chance to try chocolate covered crickets (although I did pass on holding cockroaches).
Farm City Days
On October 4th, I had a chance to be in the building where I officially started, the Farm Show Complex. I promoted with the Capital Area Beekeepers Association at the 13th Annual Farm City Day. It was a chance for local schools to bring their students in to learn a lot of different agricultural aspects. We spoke to around 800 students and teachers. Thank you to Jim Hoover, Tom Jones, and John Novinger for making this day so great.
October 6th I attended the Hummelstown Fall Festival, in Hummelstown. The Capital Area Beekeepers set up a booth with an observation hive, which was a big hit. Together, we answered questions, handed out stickers and brochures, and had a good day! Thank you to Wil Shirey for inviting me as well as all of the other familiar faces that visited during the day.
Saucon Valley Farmers Market
The next day I was in Hellertown for the Saucon Valley Farmers Market. I spent my day working side by side with Victor Rush, from Rush Apiaries and a member of the Lehigh Valley Beekeeper Association. Attendance was not its usual, with it being cold and rainy, but during the day we still spoke to 150 people.
On October 13th, I enjoyed going to Alexandria for the annual Hartslog Day Festival. After helping answer questions and selling honey, and selling raffle tickets, I was able to relax and enjoy the street fair. This one day event welcomes almost 2,000 people every year.
As a reminder I am selling raffle tickets for a handcrafted bench set, valued over $1,000. Tickets are $1 each and the winner will be drawn during the PSBA Convention Banquet in November. You do not have to be present to win. All of the money that is raised will go straight back to the Honey Queen Program to help future queens. Please support this program by buying chances or selling them.
I cannot thank everyone enough for this once in a life time opportunity! But the end of my reign is quickly approaching. Before the year is over, be sure to schedule your promotion for the Pennsylvania Honey Queen. Contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org today!
PA Honey Queen Report (October 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Greetings beekeepers! The fall season is already here! It’s the time of year that beekeepers start pulling the final honey supers and inserting mouse guards for the cold weather. One more month has come and gone with promotions for the PSBA.
To finish out the month of August, on the 29th, I went to Family Night at the Shippensburg Church of the Brethren. I spoke to 100 people about the importance of honey bees, followed by a honey tasting. Following the event, there was a great article in the Shippensburg Sentinel which reached 5,100 readers.
The next day, I traveled to Hanover, PA. I spoke to several people at an evening learning session. After talking about honey bees, visitors had a chance to try some different types of honey that they usually don’t try. Blueberry honey was the favorite.
On September 1, I attended the Big Knob Fair. The rainy day didn’t keep fair goers and bee lovers away from the information booth. I spoke to 800 people throughout the day and welcomed children to the stand with stickers and honey sticks. The next day, I was at the Coburn Park for the annual Crickfest. During the beautiful weather, I spoke to almost everyone that attended, I estimated around 300.
Jessica poses for a photo with Jason Michael Caroll
The following day I was at the Cambria County Fair. I worked with members of the 2 Cs and A Bee Association, answering questions and handing out stickers. With everyone visiting the fair and passing their booth, I spoke to 800 people. While grabbing a bite to eat, I ran into their newly crowned Fair Queen. She invited me to the Jason Michael Caroll concert that evening. I had the opportunity to introduce myself to the 750 people attending. I also had a chance to talk and get my picture with Jason Michael Caroll as well!!
September 4, I had a chance to visit the Jenner Township 4-H Club in Friedens, PA. I spoke about the importance of honey bees and that everyone can be a beekeeper. Afterward, I had a chance to listen to four of the members give their demonstrations. It is really great to see students get interested in agriculture the same way I did growing up.
On September 7th, I attended the York Fair! I had a chance to help point out the queen in the observation hive along with answering some questions. I would like to thank Jeremy Barnes and Jennifer and David Bates, for a wonderful evening after being at the fair.
The next day I was in Hershey, PA, for the “Ugh, it’s a Bug!” event. Along with members of the Capital Area Beekeepers Association, we spoke to children and parents about the different types of bee. The children also had a chance to try on a real beekeepers suit! Thank you to Stu and Linda for making my time at the beautiful Hershey Gardens a great time!
September 9, I was in Philadelphia for Honey Fest. The schedule of events for the day included, mead making lessons, children’s story time with a parade, cooking demonstrations, and much more! I gave two cooking demos and I also helped in the children’s area and with the observation hive. I had a great time with the 300 people that attended.
September 11 through the 15, was the local Sinking Valley Farm Show. During the week, I helped at the 2 Cs and A Bee booth answering questions with the observation hive. I also sold more raffle tickets for the bench set we are raffling off this year. On September 17, I was in Gratz, PA for the Gratz Fair. I spent my day answering questions and handing out honey recipe brochures to the 100 visitors.
Queen Jessica inspects her hives during a day off from promoting
On the 20th, I had my wisdom teeth extracted and I would like to thank everyone who has sent get well cards and emails. I am so honored to be your 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen! I just want to thank everyone again for this amazing opportunity! With my busy schedule this year, if I did not make it to your events this year please contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or email@example.com, to save the date for next year.
PA Honey Queen Report (September 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello once again, fellow beekeepers! I hope everyone is enjoying this busy fair season by entering honey and other hive products. Good luck to all!!
To finish out July, I attended the annual Spring Dam Weekend, in Roaring Spring. I answered many questions about honey bee products. Throughout the day I spoke to about 300 people.
The first week of August, my family and I took a vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada. While on tour at the Hoover Dam, we met a lovely family who were from Hanover, Pennsylvania. After some conversation, the gentleman gave me a funny look and asked “Are you the Pennsylvania Honey Queen?” I was shocked that someone over 1,000 miles away recognized me as the state Honey Queen.
When I got back to Pennsylvania, I was at Union County West End Fair on August 10. For the Kids’ Day events, I handed out honey bee coloring books and honey sticks. I also answered many questions and had a surprise visit from Linda Hackenberg. I really enjoy seeing familiar faces all over the state!
The next day, I attended the Governor’s Residents for Nature’s Pollinators event. Pennsylvania Backyard Beekeepers Association and I answered questions and did two open hive demonstrations. I helped pass out some delicious Vanilla Honey Ice Cream.
August 14 through the 16th, I was at Ag Progress Days at Penn State's research center at Rock Springs. The first day I took Honey Ice Cream orders, sold some honey beeswax candles and honey sticks, and even dipped some ice cream myself. On the 15th, I attended the Governor’s Reception, where the Secretary of Ag, George Greig, spoke. I also got to hear talks by the President of Penn State University and President of Agriculture at Penn State University. I spoke with many state senators and legislators during the lunch, and afterwards I attended the Secretary of Agriculture social. Here the past Secretaries of Ag from 1973 to present spoke about their memories and challenges that they faced during their time in office. The last day, I sold raffle tickets for the queen’s Item. During these three few days, I was able to reach about 5,000 people.
Handcrafted Bench Set Raffle to support Honey Queen Program
This year I will be selling raffle tickets for a handcrafted bench set, valued at nearly $1,000. Tickets are one dollar each and the winner will be drawn during the PSBA Convention Banquet in November. You do not have to be present to win. All the money raised, will go straight back to the Honey Queen Program. Please support this great program by buying or selling chances.
On August 18, I helped celebrate National Honey Bee Day with the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers. Members of the association did an extraction demonstration and answered a lot of questions. I did two different cooking demonstrations during the day. To end the day, all the children who attended the event (plus some adults) acted out the different jobs that bees have in the hive. We had builders, guards, a queen (not me), nurses, foragers, and of course drones. At the end of the season, a beekeeper came and took the honey, but he made sure that all of the bees in the hive got honey first. It was a great way to show children how hard honey bees work.
On August 19th, I attended the 2 Cs and A Bee Summer picnic. I spoke about my year so far and sold raffle tickets. Members in attendance enjoyed playing a game of hive tool toss. “Thank you” to all of the members for supporting this program for future queens.
TV interview of Honey Queen at the Crawford County Fair
On Monday the 20th, I attended the Crawford County Fair. I started in the honey booth answering questions, helped sell local honey and spoke to 1,500 people. I then went to “Radio Alley,” where I did 4 radio interviews, 2 television interviews, and 1 newspaper interview. When I finally returned to the booth, I handed the winner of the first annual Crawford County Scavenger Hunt her prize. A HUGE thank you to Charlie and Cathy Vorisek for making my visit to their fair the best it could be and for hosting me at their home.
Honey Queen visits the Hookstown Fair
The next day, I attended the Hookstown Fair. I was able to help the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers answer questions, find the queen in the beautiful observation hive, and sell some hive products. Although the weather wasn’t the best, we still talked to 200 people about the importance of honey bees.
The 22nd, I had a chance to visit the Westmoreland County Beekeepers Association at the Westmoreland County Fair. I had the chance to talk to fair goers about pollination and different types of honey.
On August 24th, I stopped by the 155th annual Harford Fair and had a chance to help the Susquehanna Beekeepers' Association answer questions, to almost 1,000 people who were visiting the fair. I was also there to help with an open hive demonstration where I helped answer any questions that the crowd had.
I am really enjoying my year as your 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. Thank you to all of the individuals and associations who continue to support me and the program. Please consider purchasing or selling some raffle tickets so that the 2013 Honey Queen can enjoy her year as much as I have. If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece, neighbor, etc. who is interested in the Honey Queen Program, please consider passing along information about the PA Honey Queen Program to her by contacting Rachel Bryson at (717) 300-0146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PA Honey Queen Report (August 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello Beekeepers!! Another month has gone by with promoting a great industry. I hope everyone has made it through this hot and dry month.
To start out the month of July, I attended the Laurel Hill 4-H Club, in Rockwood, on the second. I spoke to eleven 4-H members about how they could help the honey bees, by planting different pollinator flowers. Once I was finished speaking to the members, the local Boy Scouts leader asked if I could speak to his pack and troop. I was able to speak to 15 Boy Scout Members.
Whole Foods Market in Philadelphia
On the 6th, I attended the Whole Foods Market in Philadelphia. The super market was hosting a honey bee theme month. I was able to speak to around 200 people and hand out samples of local honey.
Agricultural Educators Regional Conference in Grantsville
July 10, I attended the National Association of Agricultural Educators Regional Conference, in Grantsville. During their lunch break I spoke to 300 teachers about the Honey Queen program and how they can invite me to their school. If they were not from Pennsylvania, I informed them about the American Honey Queen Program.
Summer Camp at Palmyra
The next day, I was in Palmyra were I spoke to 65 students at a summer camp. I spoke to the students about the importance of honey bees and the foods that we depend on for their pollination. They also had the chance to try 5 different types of honey; their favorites were Orange Blossom and Blueberry.
Master Gardener Kids Camp at Dauphin
On the 12th of July, I began my day in Dauphin where I spoke to 35 children that attended the Master Gardener Kids Camp. When I arrived, I went with the students to their pollinator garden and looked for all of the different pollinator insects that we could find. After we talked about the different types of honey bees, they also were able to try the different types of honey. Their favorite type was Tupelo and Blueberry.
That evening I attended the Milksquirt 4-H Club in Berlin. I spoke to 80 people about the different types of honey and the products of the hive. I answered a lot of questions about the different foods honey bees pollinate that we depend on. July 17, I was in Somerset, where I talked to A Cut Above 4-H Club. As the members of the club were preparing for round-up, I spoke to them about how the cooking club can use honey in their items for the fair.
On the 21st, I attended the PSBA Annual Summer Picnic. I updated everyone in attendance about what I have done as the Honey Queen so far and my goals. I informed them that I have traveled 11,000 miles, spoke to around 95,000 people, have done 147 presentations, done promotions in 29 counties, and have increased our Facebook fans to 80 people. It was really great to see new faces and familiar ones as well. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves!
July 24 through the 26th, I attended the Boy Scout Camp, at Camp Anderson in Tyrone. The first day I spoke to the boys about the different types of bees and the different products. On the second day, they had a chance to try the different types of honey. Once they were finished trying the honey, we went down to the pond to identify different flowers that honey bees like. The first scout to find a honey bee won a “special” honey stick (aka, a flavored honey stick). The last day of the camp we made a fruit dip then had a chance to try another honey type. After everyone was finished, we played “Honey Bee Trivia”. The boys had to run to a true or false base after hearing a statement of something that we covered during the week. Thank you to all of the scouts that helped out!
Please be sure to like the "PENNSYLVANIA HONEY QUEEN PROGRAM" Facebook page to get up-to-date on my most recent promotions. If you have an event coming up that you would like me to attend please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or email@example.com. Thank you for all of your continued support throughout my year!
PA Honey Queen Report (July 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello Pennsylvania beekeepers. We could not have asked for better weather for this past month! With this great weather, the bees are going strong, creating (hopefully) a great honey flow.
To finish out the month of May, I attended the Country Memories Day in downtown McVeytown. I had a chance to walk through the street fair in the cute little town that welcomed around 2,000 visitors that day. At the beekeeper's area, we talked to the visitors about the observation hive and the importance of honey bees. We also displayed beekeeping equipment, educational information, and recipe brochures. During the day, I was able to go on air six different times with WJUN 92.5 FM, which reaches 50,000 listeners.
On May 31, I went to Bellwood-Antis Elementary School, a local elementary school in my area, where I spoke to 100 first graders. The students just finished learning about Garden Helpers, and we all know that honey bees are one of the most important Garden Helper. All of the students had lots of great questions about how they can help the honey bees in our area.
To start the month of June and to end the 2012 school promotion season, on the 4th I went to Moshannon Valley High School in Houtzdale. I spoke to 150 students in seventh through eleventh grades about the benefits of honey. Congratulations to all 2012 seniors, and I wish you the best of luck!
Belleville Farmers' Market
On June 6, I attended the Belleville Farmers' Market. I helped sell local honey along with answering questions. The gentleman and his mother that I worked with have been selling honey in the same location for the past 40 years!
June 11th, I spoke to 50 parents and members of the Buffalo Creek 4-H Club, in Meyersdale. I talked to them about the different types of honey bees and why are they so important. After I gave my presentation, I made Honey Raspberry Whipped Cream topping for the ice cream party they had after their meeting.
I spent the next day in Bucks County. To start the day I went to the Doylestown Library were I spoke to 35 parents and children. I would like to thank Gary Schongalla-Bowman for taking me out for lunch and helped fill my free time. That evening I went to the Bucks County Beekeepers Picnic. Even though it rained, the weather did not alter the great evening. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner and listened to live music; then I had a chance to address the club members. I spoke about the many things I have learned while being your Honey Queen, my personal goals, and an overview of my promotions so far. In addition to Gary, I would like to thank Jim and Betty Diamond for being such a great host family for me.
On June 17th, I attended my local association's monthly meeting where we learned that some counties are having some problems with townships regulating beekeeping. I would like to let you know that you have my total support and if you need anything I would love to come to your area and help to educate the public.
Schnecksville Community Fair
June 18th, I started my day at the Roaring Springs Area Library. I spoke to 10 people about the types of honey and parts of the hive. Since it was a small group I was able to answer everyone's questions. That night I attended the Schnecksville Community Fair, where I gave a short speech at the opening ceremonies about the importance of honey bees and I also brought awareness on the loss honey bees could have on our food supply. Once the ceremony was over, I took a tour of the fair with the 2012 PA State Fair Queen and the 2011 Allentown Fair Queen. While touring the fair that welcomes 4,000 each day of the fair, I handed out recipe brochures and stickers as well as answered some interesting questions.
Schuylkill Canal Day
On June 24th, I spent my day at the Schuylkill Canal Day in Mont Clare. With 1,000 visitors in attendance, the honey sticks seemed to be the perfect gift for winners of "Honey Bee Trivia". When I had down time I walked through the event and handed out more recipe brochures and the famous "I Love You Honey" stickers.
Another busy month full of promotions is starting for me, but I would still love to come promote with you. To arrange a promotion, contact Rachel Bryson at 717-300-0146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PA Honey Queen Report (June 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello beekeepers! It has been a busy month full of promotions! I have been on the road two or three times a week promoting our great industry, answering lots of questions, and hopefully inspiring people to start beekeeping.
Gettysburg Garden Club
To finish out the month of April, on the 26th I was in Gettysburg to speak to the Gettysburg Garden Club. Some of the 50 woman that attended the meeting were interested in putting hives in their gardens after hearing the benefits of keeping bees.
The next day I was in the Aliquippa Area. I started my day at Margaret Ross Elementary School, where I spoke to 28 kindergartners. My next stop was at Hopewell Elementary (Kane Street School). I gave two presentations to 38 kindergartners. To finish out my day, I made one last stop at Independence Elementary School, where I spoke to 46 kindergartners. All of the students were surprised on how many foods that they like are dependent on the pollination of honey bees.
On April 28, I attended the Mifflin Park Elementary Schools Eco-Fest. The students had to stop at 10 of the 14 different booths to gain entrance into the Recycling Carnival. Since I was one of the booths I was able to see over 550 students and parents throughout the day.
April 30, I was invited to Menno Haven Retirement Community, in Franklin County, for an afternoon tea. I spoke to about 60 adults on the importance of honey bees. Then I handed the microphone off to Jeff LaSorsa, a Franklin County Beekeeper, who spoke on the tools beekeepers use. While Jeff was talking, I made Honey Raspberry Tea.
To start out the month of May, on the 2nd I spoke to 70 students at the Punxsutawney Head Start. I read the story "The Beeman" then showed the children what they would look like and where they would live if they were honey bees.
The next day I surprised my cousins by visiting their elementary schools. The first school I attended was Kistler Elementary in Mount Union, where I spoke to 38 second graders. My next stop was at Strodes Mill Elementary School where I spoke to 45 third graders. My relatives were so excited that their cousin "the queen" came to visit their classes.
I had a very busy day on May 5th. To begin my day I spoke to 15 people at Immanuel Preschool in Shillington. All of the children had a great time trying out the tools that beekeepers use. After the presentation, I attended the Phoenixville Farmers Market. At the farmers market I was able to speak to around 200 people and invite them to a local café for a round table discussion. During the round table, local beekeepers from the area spoke about their experiences of beekeeping while I gave out Apiary Registration forms and more information about PSBA.
On May 8th I was in Newville, where I spoke to 60 first graders, 58 kindergarteners, and 66 second graders at Mount Rock Elementary. Since the students only had 21 days left, the teachers wanted extra honey bee facts so they could give a new fact of the day every day until summer break.
Laurel Highlands Middle School (Uniontown, Pa.)
May 10th, I spent my whole day at the Laurel Highlands Middle School in Uniontown. I spoke to 1,350 students in 9 presentations! It made for a long day but it was worth it.
The next day I visited R.W. Clark Elementary School in Uniontown. I gave 6 presentations to 182 students from Kindergarten through Second grade.
May 12th I traveled to Lebanon, to attend the Jack & Jill Preschool Science Fair. During this beautiful day, I was able to meet the 2000 Pennsylvania Honey Queen/2001 American Honey Queen, Renee (Blatt) Troutman.
On May 16th, I was back at Forest Hills Elementary, in Sidman to speak to 156 fifth graders about pollination. The following day I visited the Shamokin Children's Center, where I talked to 4 and 5 year-olds about honey bees. They taught me their bee dance before I read "The Beeman" book to them.
May 18th, I had a chance to visit the Wilson Middle School in Carlisle. I gave two presentations to 150 seventh graders. All of the students were surprised that honey bees need to visit 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
"Farm to Table Festival" at Fox Chase Farm
I traveled to Philadelphia on May 19th for the Fox Chase Farm "Farm to Table Festival." While I was speaking to a group of people, one of the thirteen hives behind me decided it was a good time to swarm. This was a perfect opportunity to explain what the bees were doing and to show that honey bees are gentle. During the event I showed the swarm and made bees wax candles with nearly 600 people.
On May 23, I spoke to the Cumru Elementary School reading group. The "Bee a Reader" group was celebrating summer and had me present on why honey bees are important for us. There were also some beekeepers in the audience that I had a chance to talk with.
The next day I was in York, to talk to 100 third grade honey bee geniuses at Lincolnway Elementary School. They knew a lot of information because I spoke to their teacher at the Farm Show, and she had a chance to watch the extraction demonstration.
Although I have been busy as a bee, I am still enjoying going to schools and preparing for the fair season. Be sure to contact Rachel Bryson at 717-300-0146 or email@example.com, so I can attend your fair. Don't forget to go to the "Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program" page on Facebook and like us to stay up-to-date with my promotions.
PA Honey Queen Report (May 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Greetings beekeepers! Who would have guessed that in April, one week beekeepers would be catching swarms and the next week shoveling snow? For the Long Family, we caught our first swarm (twice)! I hope everyone else has better luck with their swarm calls throughout the season.
To finish out the month of March I spoke to 90 seventh graders at Lamberton Middle School in Carlisle on the 28th. The next day I traveled to Mars (in Pennsylvania), to inform 102 second grade students that without honeybees, we would lose one-third of our food supply.
Lehigh Valley Zoo
To start out the month of April, I attended the Lehigh Valley Zoo's opening day for the "Farm in the Zoo" exhibit. I was invited to speak at the opening ceremony, which started off the day's events. Throughout the day, I was able to show more than 1,800 visitors the queen bee in the observation hive that Ken Hoover (president of 2 C's and a Bee Association) provided for me.
On April 10th, I spoke to 260 students and teachers at the Latrobe Elementary School in Latrobe. After I set up, the school asked if more students than originally planned could attend. Of course I welcomed all that wanted to learn about honey bees. All of the students greeted me with two bee songs that were about parts of bees and the plants they pollinate.
Avella Elementary School
April 12th, I spent my day at the Avella Elementary School in Avella, speaking to 340 elementary students. Once word got out that I had a free period, they raced me across the street to the high school where I spoke to two science classes about pollination and Colony Collapse Disorder.
The next day I spoke to 80 second graders at the Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Erie. The students recently finished learning about pollination and had me in to answer more questions. I was only scheduled for half an hour but ended up staying a little over an hour with them.
Fairview Elementary School
On April 23rd, I spent my morning in Pittsburgh at Fairview Elementary School, where I spoke to 60 second graders about different types of bees in the hive. There were even some students that wanted to know more details on how to start the great hobby of beekeeping.
The next day I spent my afternoon at the East Union Intermediate Center in Cheswick. I was able to present to 200 eager third graders. Once I was done with my portion of the presentation I started taking questions, but instead the students wanted to figure out what was pollinated by honey bees in their lunch. They were very interested in learning how much we depend on honey bees for our food supply.
I am really enjoying this opportunity to be your Honey Queen this year. I cannot thank everyone enough for their outstanding support for the program! If there is an event that you would like for me to attend please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-300-0146 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to reserve the date. Don't forget to go to the "Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program" page on Facebook and like us to stay up-to-date with my promotions.
PA Honey Queen Report (April 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello fellow beekeepers! We could not have asked for a more beautiful month to get our bees through the winter, so far. This weather has also made it easier to travel across the state promoting the bee keeping industry!
Acmetonia Primary School
To finish out the month of February I traveled to Cheswick on the 28th to speak to 90 students. Third graders at Acmetonia Primary School were all looking forward to learning about honey bees, so before my visit they prepared questions for me.
On March 1st, I gave two presentations to 465 students and 25 teachers at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School. Everyone was excited for "Read Across America Day" and I was able to help celebrate this day by reading beekeeping book to the younger classes.
March 9th, I gave my first television interview on the Week-End Wrap Up with Blair County Commissioner, Terry Tommassetti. We talked about why honey bees are so important and how to become a member of a local beekeeping association. The 20 minute interview began at 9 am and was viewed by 40,000 people in the Altoona Area.
The next day, March 10, I attended the Burgh Bees Beekeeping 102 Class in Pittsburg. Along with 50 other people, I learned about what it takes to be a second year beekeeper. I had an opportunity to talk about the Honey Queen Program and my goals for the year during the class.
On the 13th, I gave a presentation at the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library. During the presentation I was able to do a bee craft with all of the children that attended. I also handed out the Honey Bee Catchers made by Cathy Vorisek. Since this was a smaller group I was able to answer everyone's questions.
Forest Hills Elementary School
My next promotion was on March 14th at Forest Hills Elementary School in Sidman. I gave one presentation to 142 students and 12 teachers. Once I told them that I had to go through an interview process to be the Honey Queen, they thought of every question involving, and not involving, honey bees.
Jr. Grange at Oxford
The next day I traveled to Oxford to give my first cooking demonstration to the local Grange. I made Banana Pops for the Junior Grange. Banana Pops are bananas cut in half, covered with honey and topped with graham crackers. For the adult Grange I made Honey Poppy Seed Dressing and Honey Raspberry Tea, which was the most popular dish of the night.
March 18th I attended the 2 Cs and a Bee's monthly meeting, where I had a chance to thank the members once again for being my sponsor. I would also like to thank some of the members that shared with me craft ideas for older children and adults, along with more promotional items. All of these items have been helpful already.
March 20th, I traveled to Punxsutawney where I gave three different presentations to preschool through high school age students at Punxsutawney Christian School. Although I presented to different age groups, a lot of their questions were similar like "When a bee stings you, does it die?" and "Why is there only one queen in the hive?"
My next promotion was where some of the best potato chips are made in Pennsylvania- Berlin. I spoke to the 80 third grades, who recently finished learning about honey bees and pollination. I received a beautiful daffodil basket with maple syrup and potato chips made right down the road as a thank you.
I am slowly reaching my goals but I need your help still. Please be sure to like the "PENNSYLVANIA HONEY QUEEN PROGRAM" Facebook page to get up-to-date on my most recent promotions. If you have an event coming up that you would like me to attend please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or email@example.com. Thank you for all of your continued support.
PA Honey Queen Report (March 2012)
by by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello everyone! This February with the warm weather and extra day, the month just seemed to "leap" right by. My days were spent preparing items for the next promotion by counting out honey sticks and coloring books, preparing my display board, and looking after my own bees by making fondant.
On February 4, I traveled to Soergals Orchard in Wexford, where Burgh Bees sponsored a Beginning Beekeeping Workshop. There were about 65 people in attendance that were all interested in starting their own hives. Workshops like this one are important for new beekeepers because it shows that other beekeepers are there to support anyone starting beekeeping. After the workshop was over, I assisted with answering questions about the parts of the hive.
Jessica with PA representative Jerry Stern
February 7th, I traveled to the State Capital Building, in Harrisburg, for the Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations annual Cornucopia, where I had the opportunity to meet nearly 150 different state senators and representatives. Events such as this are important because it reminds our state representatives and state senators how important beekeeping is to the ecosystem and agriculture industry. During this event I also met Gabrielle Elizabeth Murphy, 2012 PA State Dairy Princess, and Drew An Brubaker, 2012 PA Fair Queen, who, like me, also promote different aspects of agriculture to the public.
Jessica visits the Western PA Beekeeping Seminar
I traveled to the Four Points hotel in Mars, for the Western PA Beekeeping Seminar on February 18th. I gave a presentation to 325 people about the PA Honey Queen Program. I also talked about my goals for the year, which are to complete promotions in 30 different counties, increase our Facebook fans to more than 100 by the end of the year, and to find two young ladies to compete for the 2013 Honey Queen title.
One of my favorite parts of this promotion was having an opportunity to assist Mary Alice Gettings during the seminar "The Goodness of Honey," where she talked about different uses of honey, benefits of honey, and made some delicious dishes, all using honey. Between seminar sessions, I spent time at the queen program booth to help answer any questions, such as how I can be scheduled to attend events.
During the lunch break the Beaver Valley Beekeepers Association held a 50/50 drawing for the Honey Queen Program, raising just over $270. Thank you to the Beaver Valley Beekeepers for their support of the program.
The next day, I attended an Introduction to Beekeeping class in Phillipsburg, hosted by the 2 Cs and a Bee Association. I had the opportunity to speak about the different resources that beekeepers can use and my role as the Honey Queen. Thank you Ken Hoover, 2Cs and a Bee president, for donating some promotional items for me to use throughout the year.
Jessica talks to Bedford Elementary Students
Finishing out my February promotions, on the 23rd, I spent the day at Bedford Elementary School where I gave five presentations to 641 students in first through fifth grade. All the students were very excited to learn about honey bees and enjoyed quizzing me on different bee facts by asking questions. The great questions and attentiveness of these students made for a successful first school promotion.
As we start another month full of promotions, be sure to contact Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to book your date. I am really enjoying my opportunity to be your Honey Queen and I look forward to traveling to your next event.
PA Honey Queen Report (February 2012)
by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen
Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Long and on November 11, 2011 during the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association's Convention, I was crowned your 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. After talking to Alyssa Fine and Teresa Bryson, both past PA and now American Honey Queens, I am looking forward to the experience of attending fairs, schools, civic meetings, and many other events this year to promote the beekeeping industry.
Jessica at PA Farm Show Learning Center
Even though my reign didn't officially begin until February 1st, I was given the opportunity to attend the 96th annual Pennsylvania State Farm Show in Harrisburg for five days. During my time at the Farm Show, I spent time working in the three PSBA's booths. I enjoyed selling honey from all around Pennsylvania in the Market Place and in the Food Court. Also in the Food Court, I helped sell and serve our famous honey waffles and honey ice cream. Even though I think it was the coldest place in the whole complex, everyone volunteering made it the warmest environment to be in. I really enjoyed showing the unmarked queen and talking about what was going on in one of the two beautiful observation hives that were located in the Learning Center. By Friday I had no voice at all from talking about honey, honeybees and why they are so important, but it was all worth it to have the opportunity to educate a large number of people in one week. During the slow times at the farm show I passed out honey recipe brochures and answered many different types of questions, including "What are the honeybees doing in the observation hive" to "How can I start beekeeping."
Jessica with Pat Toomey
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet with Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and although he was on a tight schedule, he made time to capture a quick photo with me. Thursday afternoon, the PSBA's daily honey extraction demonstration was televised on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). During the broadcast, I had the opportunity to introduce myself, invited the public to our three locations throughout the complex, explain the products of the hive, and help answer audience questions. Throughout the one hour live broadcast, we were able to increase the public reached during the Farm Show by an estimated 2 million people, which is the viewership of PCN.
Jessica's Home School Presentation
On January 25, I traveled to the Hollidaysburg Area Library for a local Home School group presentation on the different types of honeybees and beekeeping. There were 25 children and 15 adults at the presentation, who were all interested and excited to learn about beekeeping and the products of the hive. The children were interested in learning how the bees work inside of the hive while the parents were more interested in learning how honey can be used to sooth a sore throat instead of using medicines.
I am excited to begin my year as your Honey Queen and traveling the state to educate the public, but I need your help to make this year all that it can be. When you know of an event going on or have a school in your area that you would like me to speak at, please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or email@example.com. Please let her know as soon as you can so we can book the date for your event.
I look forward to representing an industry that we all care dearly about throughout the year and will bee seeing you!
From the Honey Queen (February 2012)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings, beekeepers! It is not without bittersweet emotion that I am writing this final article. It has been an incredible year, but now it has drawn to a close. I'd like to recount my final month as your 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen, and to thank you for the opportunity that you've given me to represent the beekeeping industry throughout Pennsylvania.
January is a special month for the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. At the Pennsylvania Farm Show, we are able to showcase honey bees for what they truly are - the backbone of agriculture in much of this state. I was fortunate enough to attend the Farm Show for four days this year. Along with 2011 American Honey Queen Teresa Bryson, I was present at Governor Tom Corbett's Reception on January 5th and I was able to spend time with all of the great folks who contribute to the Farm Show each year.
Farm Country Radio
2011 Queen Alyssa with 1966 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Judith Sitlinger
The following day, Queen Teresa and I judged apiary products alongside PSBA's own Lee Miller and Jim Thompson, who quite literally wrote the book on honey judging. Saturday morning, we presented a gift basket filled with honey and beeswax products to Secretary of Agriculture George Greig, on behalf of Governor Corbett. We then attended the Farm Show Opening Ceremonies and took part in the second annual Parade of Agriculture in the arena. I was fortunate enough to have a brief conversation with Governor Corbett behind the scenes of this event. I spent the rest of Saturday and most of the day Sunday walking the grounds and talking to people. On Sunday, I gave a 5 minute radio interview with Dave Williams of PA Farm Country Radio which has the potential to reach 1.5 million people in the mid-Atlantic region! I spent a lot of time in the three PSBA-sponsored booths throughout the complex, including the learning center where I answered questions about honey bees and beekeeping. New to the learning center this year was a large split fly cage to allow two observation hives to be attached. This cage was built for us by an Eagle Scout as a community service project. It really helped to draw a considerable crowd! On average, approximately 400,000 people find their way through the Farm Show during its 8-day run, so this is an incredibly large event, and one which can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people. Sometimes a few people in the crowd are more memorable than others. I had the pleasure of meeting 1966 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Judith Sitlinger. It's incredible to meet past Honey Queens and to hear how the program has grown and developed over the years.
On Tuesday, January 10th, I boarded a flight bound for Las Vegas, Nevada and the North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, hosted by the American Beekeeping Federation. Although there were many great seminars to attend and much to learn about the modern beekeeping industry, I was there for a slightly different reason - to compete for the American Honey Queen or Princess title!
American Honey Queen Candidates
Kids and Bees day
During the five-day event, I worked alongside five amazing young women as we each tried to best represent our home state and earn the much coveted national titles. The candidates included: Jayla Gillaspie representing Florida, Lacy Dooley representing Indiana, Lillian-Grace Misko representing Missouri, Kaylynn Mansker representing Texas, and Danielle Dale representing Wisconsin. Getting to know each of these young ladies was truly a wonderful experience. Not only did they have a busy year promoting the beekeeping and honey industries in their home states, but they also lead very active lives at home, and it was a pleasure to learn more about them. The Honey Queen competition itself consists of a 300 word essay on the general topic of honey; a three minute marketing presentation, this year on beeswax; and an interview with the panel of judges. Aside from these formal requirements, there are many activities throughout the week which help the judges determine the Queen and Princess. The Quiz Bowl is an event in which the candidates answer trivia about honey bees and beekeeping. This year, the format was modeled after the game Taboo, and aptly named "Tabee." The candidates were given a phrase and they were instructed to give clues to their teammates to help them guess the phrase. The catch? Each phrase was accompanied by 5 descriptive words which were "taboo," or not allowed to be used. Another great event was the annual Kids and Bees day. On Friday morning, more than 400 local school children and their parents came to the convention to learn about honey bees. Each candidate chose a station such as pollination, products of the hive, or even honey tasting, and the visitors went to each station to learn more about an aspect of beekeeping.
Throughout the week as I sold raffle tickets and was able to speak with many of the beekeepers, the overwhelming sentiment was, "I'd hate to have to be one of the judges this week." Certainly the panel of judges had a very difficult decision to make because only two of the candidates could be crowned.
I had been a ball of nerves the entire week, but on the evening of the coronation I was calm knowing that I had done my best to represent Pennsylvania, the final decision was already made, and it was out of my hands. We six candidates stood at the front of the banquet hall waiting for the results. Lillian-Grace Misko from Missouri was selected as the alternate in case anything was to happen to the Queen or Princess. Danielle Dale from Wisconsin was crowned 2012 American Honey Princess. And finally… From the state of… Pennsylvania… I was crowned as the 2012 American Honey Queen. All I could do was smile! What an honor!
I had such an incredible year as your Pennsylvania Honey Queen, and I'm looking forward to another exciting year representing the beekeeping industry throughout the United States! I just want to thank everyone at PSBA for supporting me along the way. Without your help, I would never have had the opportunity to reach so many people throughout Pennsylvania, and now beyond. Thanks are also due to the Chair of the Queen program, Rachel Bryson. She is a wonderful advisor, a mentor, and a friend. She has guided me on this journey and for that I'm forever grateful.
Even though most of my efforts will be concentrated throughout the United States, I am still available for promotions in Pennsylvania as well. If you'd like to schedule a visit from the 2012 American Honey Queen or Princess, please visit the American Beekeeping Federation website at http://abfnet.org and fill out the request form.
Keep in mind that next year's North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow will take place in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This is an amazing opportunity to attend a national convention, filled with excellent speakers and networking opportunities'. And if you'd like to learn more about the American Honey Queen Program, this is the event to attend.
I'd like to extend my best wishes to 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Jessica Long as she travels throughout the state promoting the beekeeping and honey industries. She's going to do a fabulous job representing the PSBA. If you'd like to schedule a visit from Queen Jessica, contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (747) 643-0010.
From the Honey Queen (January 2012)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings, beekeepers! December came and passed very quickly. The month was relatively quiet, save for a busy weekend of promotions.
I spent the first weekend of December in the Harrisburg area for training with 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Jessica Long. During those two days, Rachel and Teresa Bryson and I covered the exhaustive official Honey Queen Training Manual, teaching Jessica everything she needs to know for her own travels in the upcoming year. Jessica learned how to dress, act, and speak like a queen while also practicing for presentations, speeches, and media interviews. Of course, we also had some fun learning to bake and give cooking demonstrations, as well. Those chocolate no-bake cookies were so yummy! I know Jessica is fully prepared to issue forth as our new Honey Queen, and I am quite anxious to see what she accomplishes this year. Be sure to see her in action at her first official promotion- the upcoming 2012 PA Farm Show!
Cooking demonstration at Maris Grove
The following day, December 4th, I traveled to Glen Mills to visit the Maris Grove senior living community. Thanks to John and Toni Kaufman, the community was hosting Honey Bee Day in celebration of its first full year of having managed hives on the property. The program for the day included a Nova film about honey bees as well as a presentation by New Jersey state bee inspector Tim Schuler, whom I was fortunate enough to meet and speak with about beekeeping and honey in New Jersey. I spoke to the audience of 150 people for an hour and answered the many questions which followed. Afterwards, I gave a quick cooking demonstration which was very well received. Everyone loved my honey vinaigrette dressing! Overall, it was a fantastic day at Maris Grove. Thank you again to John and Toni Kaufman and all the residents for their immense hospitality throughout the day. Hopefully this will not be the last Honey Bee Day in Glen Mills.
The rest of the month has been relatively slow. I have been spending my time learning details of the diseases of the hive and cramming national honey production statistics in preparation for the American Beekeeping Federation's annual convention to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada January 10th-14th, 2012. I am more anxious than nervous. Although I have picked Rachel's and Teresa's brains many times, I still am not fully sure of what to expect. But I will do my best to represent the state of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association, and hopefully I will make you all proud, no matter the outcome. If you would like to support me at this event, please consider purchasing a raffle ticket for a queen-sized quilt. The tickets are $5 and you do not have to be present to win. I will be at the PA Farm Show January 5th-8th, and I will be more than happy to provide you with a raffle ticket at that time.
We are on the verge of a New Year. I would like to take this time to wish you all health and happiness, both at home and in your hearts as well as in your hives. As we look forward to a new calendar year, there are a thousand different opportunities to invite 2012 PA Honey Queen Jessica Long to your next community event. Jessica is ready and willing to promote beekeeping and honey production throughout the state, so please make use of her that she may provide this service for us. Contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com or (717) 643-0010 today to invite Queen Jessica to your next event.
Thank you again, and I hope to see you at the 2012 PA Farm Show!
From the Honey Queen (December 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings, beekeepers! It's been another month and we find ourselves on the threshold of winter. For the Fine Family, the holidays are of a minor concern - my poor dad's more worried over whether or not to use fondant or sugar bricks to supplement the bees this season! Hopefully we'll overwinter well, as I hope all of you do, too.
November was not a particularly busy month for promotions, but the events that I attended were absolutely wonderful. On November 3rd, I traveled to Lebanon to attend a banquet in celebration of Lebanon Farm City Week. At my display booth, I prepared slices of pumpkin honey bread with buckwheat honey butter for the hors d'oeuvre hour, during which I was able to meet with many of the 250 people in attendance. I was asked to help model a beautiful "sheep to shawl" during the auction later in the evening. It was a wonderful event!
Conneaut Lake Elementary School
The following week was much busier! On November 6th I met American Honey Queen Teresa Bryson at Pittsburgh International Airport, and together we traveled to Linesville to work with Cathy and Charlie Vorisek for several days. Our first order of business was to assist with a "Honey to Money" donation for the local food bank. On behalf of the Northwestern PA Beekeepers Association, $560 worth of honey sales was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Erie. It is estimated that every donated dollar translated to 17 food dollars, so this was a very sizeable and appreciated donation. Throughout the next two days, I worked with Cathy Vorisek to visit Linesville High School, Alice Shafer Elementary, Seton Catholic, and Conneaut Lake Elementary Schools throughout the area. I gave 16 school presentations to nearly 600 students, ranging from preschool through high school seniors. The students were very engaged and excited about honey bees, mostly because they all recognized "The Bee Lady" and they wanted to learn more about how honey makes it from the hive into the honey bear containers.
COOL 101.7 Radio Station Interview
The morning of November 8th, I was invited to COOL 101.7, a Linesville radio station. My 5 minute interview reached an estimated 35,000 listeners, and was also available online. What a great opportunity to represent the industry! Thanks are due to Cathy and Charlie for arranging the school visits and for all their hospitality during the trip.
November 8th, I traveled to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium to attend Burgh Bees' annual banquet. I was given time in the program to speak about the PA Honey Queen Program and my promotions throughout this year, paying special attention to events which directly benefited their local organization. The rest of the evening, in addition to speaking with the 60 or so beekeepers in attendance, I helped by selling raffle tickets. It was a great evening. Thanks to Joe Zgurzynski and all of Burgh Bees for inviting me!
November 9th I made my way back to Erie to meet up with Teresa at the home of Charlie and Charlene Schroeck. Charlie took us to Asbury Woods Nature Center, where for many years he has managed a very vivacious observation hive. Charlie might be modest, but don't let him fool you- he is the most meticulous beekeeper I have ever met! He keeps a beekeepers log of individual hives that goes back to the 80's. I think this is part of his success; he analyses his hives, documents his approach, and learns from his errors.
Chestnut Hill Elementary School
The following morning, Charlie took me to Chestnut Hill Elementary School where I gave an hour-long presentation to 60 very excited students. It was a very enjoyable trip. Thank you again, Charlene and Charlie, for opening your home to me.
After promoting in Erie, I traveled to the PSBA State Convention in Lewisburg on Nov. 11th and 12th. During the annual banquet, I performed a preview of my 3-minute presentation for the ABF Convention this January. I am thankful for all the suggestions I receive for improvements. I also gave a summary of my year so far, which has included:
- 122 Events
- 25,000 Miles
- 225,000 People reached
- 4.17 Million reached through media
It's been a fantastic year, and I want to thank everyone at PSBA for making this possible. I had the opportunity to crown our new 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen, Jessica Long of Tyrone. She will be a great representative for the PSBA and I wish her luck on her travels next year.
Finishing out November, I attended the annual banquet of 2 Cs and a Bee on the 19th, where I was given time to speak about my travels this year. I had a great time seeing some familiar faces and also meeting new beekeepers in the association. Thank you for inviting me, Ken Hoover!
As the end of my reign draws near, I am looking forward with anxious anticipation to the American Beekeeping Federation Convention, which will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada this January, where I will represent Pennsylvania when I compete for the American Honey Queen title. Thank you so much for this opportunity. This year has been a series of incredible experiences. In preparation for the American competition, I am selling raffle tickets to benefit the national program. The tickets, which are for a Queen size quilt, are $5 each and you do not need to be present to win.
Thank you again and start your booking now for the 2012 season! If you would like to invite 2012 PA Honey Queen Jessica Long to your event, contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 643-0010 today!
From the Honey Queen (November 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings, beekeepers! It is hard to believe that the year is passing so quickly. Here we are, already in November. I'm looking forward to our annual meeting and banquet and the crowning of next year's Pennsylvania Honey Queen and Princess. I hope to see everyone there!
I finished up the month of September at the New Holland Farmers Fair in downtown New Holland. I spoke to fifty people during the course of the afternoon.
October 1st I traveled to Ambler for the Southeastern PA Honey Bee Symposium, sponsored by Mark Atunes, president of the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association. I had a wonderful time meeting many of the 100 beekeepers in attendance from that area of the state.
October 6th I attended Farm City Day at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. I worked with Tom Jones and Tom Lehman to reach nearly 700 students and their chaperones as they visited our extensive display about honeybees and beekeeping. The kids were excited to see the inner workings of the hive, and even more excited for free honey sticks!
Elizabeth R. Martin Elementary School
October 7th I spent the day at Elizabeth R. Martin Elementary School in Lancaster. I gave 7 presentations to nearly 185 students, Kindergarten through 4th grade.
October 8th I attended the York Beekeepers Association banquet. I was able to give a brief presentation outlining the duties of the Honey Queen and summarizing my travels throughout this year. Thanks again to Jeremy and Mary Barnes, as well as to the York Beekeepers, for their wonderful hospitality.
October 12th I traveled to the Montessori School of the Nittany Valley in State College to give three presentations to 45 students and teachers. This was my first experience with a Montessori School and I found it to be very rewarding. The children were very engaged and excited to learn. They especially loved exploring all of the tools and equipment as well as the products of the hive.
October 13th I traveled to Pittsburgh to speak at Sunnyside K-8. I visited two classrooms and spoke to 60 students about the importance of honeybees and beekeeping, even in a very urban environment such as the city in which they live.
Allison Park Homeschool
October 14th I visited a homeschool group in Allison Park to speak with 20 students about honeybees. This class had a focus on the pioneer days. It was great to talk about the evolution of beekeeping from skeps and hollow logs to the modern styles we use today, many of which were developed during or directly after the pioneer era.
October 15th I traveled to a Harvest Festival at St. Matthews School in Tyrone. I set up my booth and answered questions for nearly 75 interested adults and children who came by to learn more about honeybees and beekeeping.
October 19th I visited a Girl Scout Troop in Churchill to speak to 30 Daisies and their troop leaders about honeybees and beekeeping. The girls enjoyed a cooking demonstration where we tried Honey Berry Smoothies, a salad with Honey Vinaigrette Dressing, and Bee Sweet Banana Bread. You can find many of these recipes in my recipe brochure to try them at home on your own!
October 21st I visited the Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville to speak to four classrooms of students, preschool through 4th grade. All 145 students got the chance to try a variety of honeys as well as an extremely local brand donated by the school nurse whose husband happens to be a beekeeper!
The end of my reign is quickly approaching. Before the year is out, be sure to schedule those last visits by the Pennsylvania Honey Queen or Princess. Contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or email@example.com today!
From the Honey Queen (October 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Hello beekeepers! Another month has passed and we find ourselves entering the Fall season already. It's almost time to start pulling those last supers and buckling down for colder weather. My last month of summer was quite busy with promotions work for the PSBA.
Presentation at Centre County Grange Fair
I finished up August with a trip to the Centre County Grange Fair on the 28th. I gave an outdoor presentation to a group of 75 children and adults before joining the children for their parade throughout the fairgrounds.
September 3rd I set up a booth at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District. I spent the afternoon answering questions for nearly 100 people who passed through my area. On September 4th, I traveled to Coburn for Crickfest, a sustainability festival. During the humid afternoon, I spoke to just about every person who attended, which I estimate at 300 people. September 5th I traveled to the Cambria County Fair in Ebensburg. Working with the local beekeepers, 2 C's and a Bee, we gave presentations to three groups of people. Despite the rainy conditions, we reached nearly 210 people that day.
September 8th I traveled to Blasco Memorial Library in Erie to speak with a very interested group of 20 seniors. I love teaching children, but it's always refreshing to work with adults who ask very different questions. On September 9th I traveled to Centre Hall to attend the Nittany Antique Machinery Show. Amid the old steam engines, I worked with Rich Walker at his education booth, teaching any passers-by about honeybees.
September 15th I set up a booth at the Market Square Farmers Market in Pittsburgh. During the afternoon, I spoke to approximately 50 people. September 16th I traveled to the Berlin Brothersvalley Fair in Berlin. This fair was unique because for the most part it took place inside of the local school. I spent my day giving short presentations to groups of visiting schoolchildren. I spoke to about 500 people that day. September 17th I got to visit the Great Insect Fair which took place at Penn State's University Park campus in State College. Honeybees were featured in many locations throughout the fair. Not only were there observation hives and a pollination station, but outdoors there was a varietal honey tasting booth and a screened area where a beekeeper opened up a full-sized hive in front of an audience several times throughout the day. Nearly 8,000 people were in attendance, all of which were impacted by honeybees. September 18th I traveled to Dalton to visit Roba Family Farms. During their teacher appreciation day, I passed out packets of information to teachers as well as answered questions for anyone who came past, totaling 100 people.
Pittsburgh City Council Meeting
On September 20th, I visited a meeting of the Pittsburgh City Council where they gave a proclamation for National Honey Month. September 20, 2011 was also recognized as Burgh Bees Day, due to the work that this association is doing throughout the city. I spoke briefly about the program, honey production, and the value of pollination before distributing honeybee-themed gifts to the nine council members.
Preschool Group at Mt. Vernon
September 21st I visited with a preschool group in Mount Vernon. I spoke to two classes for a total of 30 students. September 22nd I went to Wilson Christian Academy in West Mifflin to speak to a group of 80 students. September 23rd I visited South Butler school district in Saxonburg for their first ever PA Ag Products Day. During this event, students visited agricultural booths around the school grounds. I gave 16 mini-presentations to 150 students and their teachers. September 24th I traveled to Carrick Library outside of Pittsburgh to speak to ten people. Due to the small group size, we were able to talk in depth about honeybee topics that they found most interesting.
The school year is back in full swing! If you have any school-aged children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews, be sure to contact their teachers about requesting an educational visit from the Honey Queen or Princess. For more information, contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Honey Queen Program exists because of the support of PSBA members across the state. If you'd like to donate to the program, please consider purchasing a raffle ticket for a beautiful handmade queen-sized quilt. All proceeds benefit the program and all the work that the Queen and Princess have been doing throughout the state. The winning ticket will be drawn during the PSBA convention in November, but you do not need to be present to win. Thank you for your continued support!
From the Honey Queen (September 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings beekeepers! Another month has passed and I hope everyone is having a successful season with their hives. I love this time of year because as we transition to fall weather, the honey starts to darken. In my area, we get a lovely red shade thanks to an abundance of Japanese Knotweed.
I finished up July with a few events. On July 25th I visited the Lebanon Area Fair. In addition to chatting with 200 guests, I gave two cooking demonstrations throughout the day. I whipped up honey berry smoothies, but the crowd seemed to be more excited about my honey vinaigrette dressing, which is listed in my recipe brochure.
Manuka Honey Demonstration at EAS
The next day, I flew to Providence, Rhode Island to attend the annual conference of the Eastern Apicultural Society with American Honey Princess Allison Adams. From the 26th through the 29th, I had the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and demonstrations, all while representing Pennsylvania's beekeepers. My favorite part of the conference was the Apitherapy Room, where I learned to make a honey ointment, applied Manuka honey to a wound, and even got to administer bee stings!
On July 30th, I returned to Pennsylvania to attend the Fayette County Fair in Dunbar. I gave a presentation with my father about beginning beekeeping and helped to sell honey while answering questions for about 200 guests.
August has been jam-packed with promotions. On August 3rd I visited the Hollidaysburg Public Library and gave three presentations as part of the summer reading program. I reached nearly 90 people during this event.
On August 4th I traveled to the Lancaster Country Club to speak to 35 children about honeybees. They were thrilled to see PSBA member Lori Stahl show up in a bee suit and open up her hives located on the Country Club lawn. Afterwards, we tasted varietal honeys and I quizzed the kids about honeybees so they could earn their snacks. That same day, I visited the Eastern Lancaster County Library in New Holland to speak to a group of 15 children and adults. I traveled to the Goshen County Fair in West Chester on August 5th. I answered questions in the Ag tent and went on stage to auction a prize winning honey donated by Tim and Jenny Sterrett. I reached about 300 people through this event.
August 6th I set up a booth at the New Holland Farmers Market and answered questions at my observation hive for the 100 people who visited.
On August 9th I was back in the western half of the state in downtown Pittsburgh for the Carnegie Library's Market Square Reading Room. During the lunch rush, I set up my materials and answered questions about honeybees for the 50 or so people who came past. August 10th found me at the Butler Farm Show, where I worked with local beekeepers, helping to answer questions throughout the afternoon, and took part in an extraction demonstration. I spoke with nearly 350 people that evening.
August 11th I visited the Mountain Area Fair in Farmington. I brought my observation hive and offered information and fun facts about honeybees to the 75 people who made it past my booth. August 12th I traveled to Reedsville for the Mifflin County Youth Fair. I set up a honeybee ring toss game and my observation hive to grab the kids' attention. Not one of the 200 kids who visited my station that afternoon left without a honeybee sticker or coloring book.
August 13th I visited Woods Run Library in Pittsburgh to speak with a group of 15 children and adults about the importance of honeybees. On August 14th I set up a booth at the Washington County Fair where I offered information about honeybees as well as a variety of local honeys for purchase. I spoke to nearly 350 people throughout the course of the afternoon and evening. August 15th I visited the Squirrel Hill Library in Pittsburgh to speak with 25 children and adults. The kids were especially intrigued by the observation hive and spent a lot of time looking into it with my honeybee magnifying glass.
Ag Progress Days - Honey Queen with Secretary Grieg and Governor Corbett
August 16th through 18th I was at Ag Progress Days at Penn State's research center at Rock Springs. I worked alongside Princess Emily and American Honey Queen Teresa Bryson. In addition to taking honey ice cream orders and even scooping some myself, I had the opportunity to walk the grounds and even attend a luncheon with many local and state legislators. During the event, I had the opportunity to meet with PA Secretary of Agriculture George Grieg and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. I estimate that I reached at least 5,000 people during the three day event.
On August 19th I hit the air waves as I had a half hour radio interview with Dave Malarkey of Butler's WISR station. We spoke about everything from my experiences as PA Honey Queen to the healing properties of honey, and much in between! His broadcast had the potential to reach 35,000 people.
Extraction Demo at Crawford County Fair
August 20th I traveled to Downingtown to attend Honey Fest, a weekend event that benefits the Polycystic Kidney Disease charity foundation. I provided information about honeybees and passed out honeybee stickers to all of the 100 or so people who visited my booth. August 21st I was in North Western PA with Cathy and Charlie Vorisek at the Crawford County Fair. I pointed out the queen bee in an observation hive in front of an extensive display of honeys. I helped Charlie during a honey extraction demonstration, and Cathy helped me to get on air for a fifteen minute radio interview with Linesville's WMVL station that reaches up to 40,000 listeners.
August 22nd I worked in the education booth at the Westmoreland County Fair. I had the opportunity to spend time with 2009 PA Honey Princess Kelly Komar, who is now the president of her local association. What a privilege to work with her! I spoke to approximately 250 people throughout the afternoon. August 27th I traveled to the Hookstown Fair to work with the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association in their education booth. I spent the afternoon selling honey donated by club members and answering questions about honeybees.
Whew! As you can see, it has been a busy month!
Well it's that time of year again- back to school season! If you have a child, grandchild, niece/nephew, neighbor, etc. who is in school, please consider passing along information about the PA Honey Queen Program to his/her teacher. Contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or email email@example.com to schedule a visit by the Honey Queen or Princess today!
From the Honey Queen (August 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings beekeepers! Another month has passed and I've been very busy promoting the industry through visits to libraries and festivals.
I finished up the last week of June with two events. On the 26th, I traveled to Montgomery to take part in Schuylkill Canal Days, which attracted 3,000 people. I spent the afternoon providing information to the public and answering their many questions. On June 30th, I spent the day at a summer camp at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. I used to visit Phipps often as a child, so I was happy to be able to speak with two groups of 50 inner-city children about the importance of honeybees and their role in food production.
July 7th I spoke with a group called Pretty Up Beechview, which aims to use gardening to make their community located in the Pittsburgh suburbs look and feel better. I spoke with 15 people who were extremely interested in honeybees. I also visited the Bloomfield Farmers Market where I passed out brochures and answered questions for the nearly 250 people in attendance that afternoon.
Honey Queen at Scranton Library
Honey Queen at another Scranton Library
July 8th and 9th I was in the Scranton area touring many of the local libraries. During those two days, I visited 6 libraries and spoke to 170 people. The kids were especially excited to look right inside of the observation hive and see what the bees were up to. On July 10th I visited Triple B Farms in Bunola to take part in their raspberry festival and answer questions for the 250 people who stopped by.
July 12th I traveled to Gladwyne Public Library to speak to 35 people. Although it was advertised mainly to children, the overwhelming majority were adults who were interested in beginning beekeeping. July 13th I visited Allentown Public Library to speak with a group of 35 people. One little girl works in the hives with her father, so she brought her own bee suit to model for the group. On the 14th through the 16th, I was in Zelienople for Horse Trading Days, a street festival that attracts 40,000 people annually. I helped to sell local honey and of course answered questions for the visitors, who were curious about the observation hive I had brought.
July 19th I traveled to Penn State University Park in State College to participate in Honey Day. I actually helped to organize this event with a friend who works in the dining commons. Many meals prepared in Redifer Dining Commons that day were made with local honey donated by Centre County Beekeepers. The final numbers indicate that 1,500 students and staff stopped by to try a taste of honey that day. I also visited Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda to speak at Ag in the Classroom. I briefly spoke to two groups of 25 educators about the Honey Queen Program and provided information to them in order to request a visit by the Queen or Princess during the upcoming school year.
July 20th I visited Camp Anderson in Tyrone to speak to ten groups of Boy Scouts, totaling 200 people. I also attended a meeting of the Centre County Beekeepers where we learned some curious new ways to apply household items to beekeeping. Who knew a copy paper box could become a swarm catching unit?
Honey Queen visits Phipps Conservatory summer kids camp
July 21st I made a second trip to Phipps Conservatory to speak with another group of 25 kids during their summer camp. That evening I visited Holt Memorial Library in Philipsburg to speak with 25 people. I had visited Holt in March, and during that brief time, one family returned to tell me that they had successfully started two colonies of their own!
I hope to have run into you during our summer picnic either on the 22nd at Tom and Mary Chronister's farm in Dover, or on the 23rd at Lower Allen Community Park in Mechanicsburg. Princess Emily and I were given the opportunity to give an update on our activities so far this year. In addition to the picnic, I also attended Read Across the Valley on July 23rd in Northumberland to provide information and crafts for nearly 50 children and adults.
It has been a busy summer so far, but as always, if you have an event happening in your area that you would like myself or Princess Emily to attend, please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-643-0010.
From the Honey Queen (July 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Hello friends! Another month has come and gone so quickly. I hope everyone is getting a great nectar flow so far this summer. If you haven't started already, soon it will be time for honey extracting. It's so nice to finally see the fruit of your efforts as a beekeeper.
I finished out the last week of May with four events. On the 26th I travelled to Ringgold Middle School in Finleyville to speak with 55 students as part of a career fair series. Although I covered all the important topics, I also emphasized that beekeeping can be a full-time job and a career in itself. The students were amazed that some beekeepers and their migratory hives travel thousands of miles each year, pollinating crops in different corners of the country as the plants come into season. I also travelled to Everett Elementary School in Everett that afternoon to speak with two classrooms of 100 first- and fifth-graders.
The next day, I made a second trip to Freeport Area Middle School to speak with six classrooms of 175 seventh grade students. I spent all day in the classroom, and I don't think I was asked the same question twice.
On May 28th, I travelled to McVeytown for Country Memories Day, a street fair that attracts thousands of visitors. I was given a booth to display all of my beekeeping equipment, educational information, and recipe brochures. We even had an observation hive. Thank you again for all your help in setup, Joe Morgan! I have been told that at least 4,000 people passed through the fair that day, and a great many of them stopped by to see the inner workings of the hive.
My first June event took place locally (for me) at Triple B Farm's Strawberry Festival in Monongahela on the 11th and 12th. This was an exciting event for me, because I was able to tell each of the visitors that stopped by the honeybee exhibit that the strawberries they had picked were pollinated by my family's honeybees. The kids had a great time trying to spot the queen in the observation hive, while parents made sure to take home recipe brochures. I we had at least 800 visitors to the exhibit that weekend.
Honey Queen visits Uniontown Public Library
On Monday June 13th, I travelled to Uniontown Public Library to speak to 55 children and adults as part of the summer reading program. Everyone got to try a honey stick and no one left without a honeybee sticker. The event was given a great review in the local newspaper, the Herald Standard. Thank you, Fran Zajac! On Monday, June 20th, I travelled to Schnecksville to attend the opening night of the Schnecksville Community Fair. I spoke briefly at the opening ceremonies and then spent the rest of the evening either at the display booth or walking the fairgrounds to hand out brochures and stickers. An estimated 4,000 people were at this event.
June 23rd I drove to Athens to speak at Spalding Memorial Library. I gave a presentation to 25 children and adults who asked very interesting questions. And the kids were able to make their own honeybee to take home.
I'm looking forward to a busy summer schedule for promotions, but I am always looking for more opportunities to spread the buzz about honeybees. If you would like to request a visit from the Queen or Princess, contact Rachel Bryson, email@example.com or 717-643-0010, for more information. Now that summer has officially started, it's bound to get hot! Here's a great honey treat to beat the heat!Peach, Chamomile, and Honey Popsicles
- 6 ripe peaches, any variety
- 2 Tbsp dried chamomile leaves
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
Clean, halve, and pit 4 peaches. Puree them- skin included- until the mixture is nearly smooth. Stir in honey, lemon juice, salt, and finely minced chamomile. Coarsely chop remaining peaches and combine with puree. Add honey to taste. Pour into popsicle molds or Dixie cups. Add wooden popsicle sticks if needed. Freeze. Makes 10 delicious pops.
From the Honey Queen (June 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Greetings, beekeepers! I hope everyone is enjoying the early summer weather and all the swarming that comes with it. I was fortunate enough to collect two swarms this past month, which was a new and exciting experience. Promotions-wise, it's been a crazy month!
I finished up the last week of April with three events. On the 26th, I visited Bellefonte Library to speak with a group of twelve adults and children about the importance of honey bees. I really enjoy smaller groups because you can start a more involved discussion with them.
On April 27th, I travelled to Lamberton Middle School in Carlisle. What began as just one presentation for 70 students soon developed into an all day visit and three presentations, which reached a total of 200 students ranging from 6th to 8th grade.
On April 30th, I traveled with my family to the Community College of Beaver County in Monaca for Senator Vogel's Kids Extravaganza. During this two hour event, approximately 1000 children and adults visited our booth. Many parents seemed interested in inviting the Queen or Princess to a future event. My May promotions began on the 7th with a trip to the Dauphin County Agriculture and Natural Resources Center to participate in the Capital Area Beekeepers Short Course. It was great to learn new things in the company of friends. I was given the opportunity to briefly speak about the Honey Queen Program to the 65 beekeepers in attendance.
On May 9th I travelled to Halifax High School to speak to 2 classrooms of juniors and seniors, totaling 50 students. Some of the girls were especially interested in the Honey Queen Program, so perhaps we'll see some of them this November.
On Friday May 13th I travelled to Hayshire Elementary in York to talk to 175 second graders about honeybees, focusing on their unit discussion of insect life cycles, environment, shelter, and survival.
May 14th, I joined CABA members at Dave Anderson's apiary in Palmyra for the second half of the Short Course. We implemented our new skills by hiving a package, creating a nuc, and learning to identify diseases in the hive.
Honey Queen visits Towanda Girl Scout Camp
May 15th I braved the the Pennsylvania wilds to speak with 70 girl scouts at their camp in Towanda. The girls learned interesting facts about honeybees, tasted some sweet honey recipes, and even earned a badge in the process!
Honey Queen at John Beck Elementary School in Lititz
May 17th was a busy day. First, I visited John Beck Elementary in Lititz to speak with 180 students from Kindergarten through 4th grade. I even spoke to a deaf classroom which required a sign language interpreter. The students taught me the word for bee! That evening I travelled to the Southeastern Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Manheim for a Pollinator Conference. This was a great opportunity to learn how to provide for and protect all native pollinators- not just honeybees. There were about 50 people in attendance.
On May 23rd, I visited North Dickinson Elementary in Carlisle. I spoke with three classrooms of students ranging from first through third grade, totaling 100 kids.
May 24th, I was off to Whitemarsh Elementary in Lafayette Hill, where I gave two presentations to about 420 Kindergarten through third grade studen?ts.
Honey Queen speaks at Freeport Junior High School
I traveled to Western Pennsylvania on May 25th to speak at Freeport Junior High School. I spent the entire day in an eighth grade science classroom talking to 170 kids about honeybees. Many expressed an interest in beekeeping as a hobby in the near future.
As the school year comes to a close, I find that my summer schedule seems a little bit bare in comparison. If you know of any groups that would benefit from a visit by the Honey Queen or Princess, do not hesitate to contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on how to request a visit.
It'll be a sweet addition to any summer program!
From the Honey Queen (May 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Honey Queen giving presentation to Reading homeschoolers
Greetings everyone! It's been another fantastic month filled with promotions. I've been traveling two or three days each week, promoting the industry and answering questions along the way.
I finished up last month with three presentations in the Lancaster area. On March 30th, I spoke with 20 homeschoolers in the Gordonville area. Not only did we learn about honeybees, but we also got to try some tasty honey recipes, as well as samples of varietal honeys as well. On the 31st, I travelled to Reading to speak with 25 homeschoolers. After the presentation, I answered questions while the kids made their own honeybees. The next day, April 1st, I visited a homeschool group in York to speak with ten people. The smaller group turned into more of a discussion group by the end- everyone had their questions answered and we all learned new facts about honeybees.
Honey Queen visits Elbow Lane School
Honey Queen talks to Marion-Walker students
The following week, I made a trip out to Warrington to the Elbow Lane School on April 4th to speak with three groups of children from preschool through fourth grade. There were about 55 students in attendance. Everyone loved sampling the honey sticks, and no one left without a sticker.
On April 7th, I visited Marion-Walker Elementary in Bellefonte to speak to nearly 110 first and second graders all at once. These kids were extremely well behaved and asked great questions.
April 12th I began my Centre County Library tour at the East Penns Valley Library in Millheim. I spoke with 15 children and adults that evening. The next morning, I drove to Benton to speak with a classroom of fifteen very attentive middle schoolers. On April 14th I drove to Philipsburg to speak with a group of 20 people at Holt Memorial Library. Because of our location in a front room viewable from the street, many passers-by were drawn into the library to hear the presentation.
On April 19th I drove to Parkesburg to speak to a homeschool group. We had expected only 18 kids, but through word of mouth advertising, nearly 35 people from throughout the community were in attendance. Many parents were seriously considering ordering beginning beekeeping kits after the presentation.
April 21st I continued the Centre County Library tour by visiting the Centre Hall Library. About 15 children and adults came out to hear all about honeybees. The next day, I traveled to Williamsport to speak at the James V. Brown Library. We chose a location on the first floor where passers-by could easily enter on their way into the library. In this way, we were able to reach about 30 children and adults that day.
I truly enjoy what I'm doing and I'm thankful for it every day. However, I do need your help to ensure that I have the opportunity to promote the industry. Please don't hesitate to contact Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010 or email@example.com, to schedule a promotional visit from the Honey Queen or Princess today!
February Honey Princess Report
by Emily Bruckart - 2011 PA Honey Princess
Hello! My name is Emily Bruckart and I am the 2011 PA Honey Princess.
2011 Honey Princess at PA State Farm Show showing how hive works
My first event for the year was the Farm Show, where I was able to reach a wide audience to explain the importance of beekeeping to Pennsylvania. Many people already knew that bees produce honey, but it came as a surprise to some that bees' most useful function is as the primary pollinator for our flowers and food. Without bees, many here in Pennsylvania would go hungry.
Princess Emily speaks at PA State Farm Show Extraction Demo
I participated in the Honey Extraction demonstration while at Farm Show, where we demonstrated how honey is removed from a frame, displayed some commonly used beekeeping equipment, and answered many of the audience's questions. One such presentation was broadcast multiple times on television throughout the state on PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network).
There were many great places to visit at the Farm Show this year. I especially enjoyed the State Beekeepers Market Booth, which had products for sale from many local beekeepers. We had a rainbow of different honey types available, from light clover to dark buckwheat honey, not to mention beeswax candles and lip balm.
I also spent a great deal of time at the apiary educational booth near the famous Butter Sculpture, where we had two observation hives to display the inner workings of a bee colony. I especially loved the look of pure wonder in the eyes of some of our youngest visitors as they watched the controlled chaos of the bee hive, searching for the ever elusive queen bee.
Several newspapers took note of me as I worked to educate people about our industry at the Farm Show. An article appeared in the Reading Eagle and the Chambersburg Public Opinion, and a picture of me was published in the Lancaster Farming Newspaper. This media exposure reached approximately 117, 880 people. It is quite an honor to be recognized by the state community for helping our bees.
As first impressions go, this month was a great start to a wonderful year. I am so excited about all of the events that I will be attending in upcoming months, and I hope to see you there!
If you would like me to attend your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Honey Queen (April 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Honey Queen with Pa Sec. of Ag, George Greig at Capitol Building
Hello everyone! I can't believe we've gone through another month already. They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but it's still been relatively cold here in State College. I hope everyone's bees are holding out for the warmer weather that's (hopefully) to come.
I've had a busy month of promotions. On March 8th, I traveled to the Capitol Building in Harrisburg to attend the PA State Council of Farm Organizations annual meeting. The afternoon of discussions culminated with Cornucopia, a taste of Pennsylvania foods. Governor Corbett released his budget that morning, so there were plenty of legislators in attendance. With the help of Charlie and Cathy Vorisek, and Tom Jones, we passed out honey bears to all the legislators. I was able to meet many of them and raise questions about future honey standards.
I traveled to Shrewsbury on March 10th to speak with approximately 75 homeschoolers. After the presentation, I provided a quick cooking demonstration with tasty honey samples, such as my family's own spring blend to a dark buckwheat. Afterwards, the children worked on making their own honeybee during craft time.
Honey Queen visits Hempfield Homeschoolers
Honey Queen at Dutch Gold Honey
The following week was very busy. On March 15th, I traveled to the Priestley-Forsyth Memorial Library in Northumberland to speak with approximately 20 children and adults. On March 17th I visited the Hempfield Homeschoolers in Lancaster where I spoke to 50 children and adults. I think there may be some future beekeepers in that group! That same day, realizing that it was just down the street, I stopped by Dutch Gold Honey and was greeted with a warm welcome. I was able to tour the facility and even picked up a variety of honeys for taste testing during presentations. Thank you again, Jill Clark! On March 19th, I drove to the Bradford County Library to speak with a group of ten people. Although it was a small group, I was able to answer a lot of specific questions, mainly about beginning beekeeping.
Honey Queen visits L.R. Appleman Elementary School
I returned to L.R. Appleman Elementary School in Benton on March 25th, this time to speak with 125 first- and second-graders. I gave six presentations, which made for a long day, but it was great to spend time with these students. Although some of them might be fidgeting or excited to tell a "bee sting" story, you can always pick out at least one child who is simply fascinated and genuinely developing an interest in beekeeping… and that makes it all worth it.
The school year is almost over! Be sure to contact Rachel Bryson or visit www.pastatebeekeepers.org for more information about booking the Honey Queen or Princess at your next event. I rely on your invitations to help me promote beekeeping, so spread the word to friends, neighbors, and acquaintances and invite me to your next event!
From the Honey Queen (March 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
2011 Honey Queen at L.R. Appleman Elementary School
Hello friends! It seems that February has gone by so quickly. I blinked somewhere around Valentine's Day and then this month was gone! That's probably due to the fact that I've been busy with promotions during the past few weeks. Whether it's putting together a display board or gathering supplies for crafts, there's usually any number of things that I can be doing to get ready for any upcoming presentations. My first official presentations took place on February 18th at the L.R. Appleman Elementary School in Benton. I spoke to three groups of sixth grade students throughout the day, totaling 60 students. I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids. They were interested, involved, and they asked great questions.
On February 19th, I attended the Western Pennsylvania Beekeeping Seminar hosted by the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association in Cranberry. I brought my presentation materials and had them on display to give an example of what I bring to schools and festivals. I spoke to the approximately 300 in attendance about the Honey Queen Program and how to request the queen or princess at any upcoming events. Overall, it was nice to see some familiar faces and spend some time socializing with a great mix of beekeepers in the area.
2011 Honey Queen at Hollidaysburg Public Library
I travelled to the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library on February 24th to speak to approximately 30 children and adults. These kids were mostly younger, between the ages of 4 and 7, so I brought a "Make a Bee" craft for after the presentation. I don't know what they're doing out in Hollidaysburg, but these kids are smart! I asked questions during the presentation, and they knew more about honey bees than the adults! A few kids were very excited to try on the bee suit and gloves, and one little boy promised me that he'd be a beekeeper when he was 9 years old and could fit into the suit better. It was a fun evening for everyone.
As we move into March and (hopefully) warmer weather, there will be more opportunities for presentations. Please don't hesitate to contact Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010 or email@example.com, to schedule a visit from the queen or princess. I absolutely enjoy what I'm doing and I'd be glad to have the opportunity to travel to your event.
From the Honey Queen (February 2011)
by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen
Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa Fine and I am your 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. I'm brand new to this position, but after hearing nothing but great stories from our 2010 Honey Queen, Teresa, I am anxiously looking forward to an incredible year of school presentations, seminars, festivals, and fairs.
2011 Honey Queen at PA State Farm Show Ice Cream Stand
2011 Honey Queen at PA State Farm Show Learning Center
Although my reign does not officially begin until February 1st, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the 95th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show for a few days. On Friday evening, I attended the Governor's Reception banquet, where I delivered a gift basket filled with many of our PA honey products to PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. On Saturday morning, I participated in the new Parade of Agriculture during the televised opening ceremonies for the Farm Show. I spent my next few days between the PSBA's three booths located throughout the complex. I especially enjoyed answering questions in the Learning Center, to which many people young and old alike were flocking in order to see our two observation hives. I talked so much that by the second day, I was beginning to lose my voice! During slow times, I would take a stack of honey recipe brochures and stickers and circle the complex, encouraging people to visit the Learning Center.
On Monday evening, the PSBA performed a honey extraction demonstration, which was televised live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. I spoke briefly about myself, my interest in beekeeping, and my upcoming year as the 2011 Honey Queen. PCN has approximately 2 million viewers, many of whom mentioned during the next few days that they had seen the demonstration and were simply fascinated.
Notable events also include a brief interview with Dave Williams on Pennsylvania Farm Country radio, which has 1.5 million listeners in the eastern half of the state; a quick interview with a reporter from Blue Ridge Channel 11 that reaches 35,000 viewers; and meeting Governor Corbett and many other legislators during the Public Officials Day luncheon.
I am excited to begin my year as Honey Queen, but I need your help and support to make sure that it is a great year. If there are any events in your area that might enjoy having me as a speaker, I would be more than happy to attend. Please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org and set a date for me.
I am ready to represent the industry and create a buzz about honey bees!
From the Honey Queen
by Teresa Bryson (final article) - 2010 PA Honey Queen
Hello Pennsylvania beekeepers! January has flow by with my participation in the American Honey Queen competition at the North American Beekeeping Conference and Tradeshow in Galveston, Texas and the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
At the end of the five day convention, I was selected as the 2011 American Honey Queen. Your support and encouragement, plus the many promotional activities you invited me to in 2010, provided the experience I needed to achieve the national title.
Honey Queen with kids at PA State Farm Show
The week in Galveston started January 4 with the welcome reception, allowing members of the American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association, Canadian Honey Council and beekeepers from Mexico the opportunity to meet and discusses the latest trends in beekeeping. Wednesday of that week, I spoke before a crowd of almost 550 people, met with the beekeepers and participated in the Quiz Bowl. Thursday, I presented my marketing presentation to nearly 100 people at the ABF Ladies Auxiliary breakfast meeting. The ladies enjoyed my rendition of a trip back to Ancient Egypt. Friday, I worked with the Texas Honey Queen Allison Adams, and the 2010 American Honey Queen and Princess, Lisa Shluttenhofer and Amy Roden, at the Kids and Bees event. Over 1,000 students from the Galveston area traveled to the convention center when we taught them about many aspects of the beekeeping industry. After Kids and Bees, I attended the Foundation for the Preservation of Honeybees luncheon, where I learned from industry scientists about new research and future goals for beekeeping. Saturday morning I was interview by the three judges, before heading back to the convention to sell raffle tickets.
Honey Queen at PA State Farm Show Ice Cream Stand
Immediately after the convention, I jetted back to PA and straight to the PA Farm Show. I spent three days at the Farm Show and enjoyed every minute of it. I was able to help in the ice cream stand by taking orders and answering questions. I also worked at the educational area, explaining the importance of honeybees, and I spoke at two extraction demonstrations.
Thank you for all your support throughout my year and I ask for all of you to support the 2011 PA Honey Queen and Princess, Alyssa Fine and Emily Bruckert. I hope to see you all at several events this year. Thank you again for an amazing experience.
From the Honey Queen (December 2010)
by Teresa Bryson - 2010 Honey Queen
Hello everyone! It was wonderful to see so many of you at the state convention!
On November 6th I traveled to Ebensburg for the 2Cs and a Bee banquet. At the banquet I spoke about the events I have attended and the importance of the honey queen program. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and meet new people. Thank you to Ken Hoover for inviting me.
Honey Show Awards
The Honey Queen gives her final remarks
My next event was the PSBA convention on the 12th and 13th. While at the convention I spoke to many people about the events I have attended through out the year and the number of people I have reached. At the banquet Friday night I had the opportunity to speak about the importance of the honey queen program and perform my marketing presentation that I will be giving at the American Honey Queen contest in January. At the end of the night I had the privilege of crowning the 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen and Princess. Congratulations to Alyssa Fine and Emily Bruckart.
On Monday, the 15th, I traveled to Hampden Elementary School in Mechanicsburg for a day of presentations. I spoke to 5 first grade classes about the role of each honeybee in the hive, why honeybees are important, and how much of our food is dependent on honeybees. I spoke to over 100 students at this school.
Mount Rock Elementary School Presentation
On Friday, the 19th, I traveled to the Mount Rock Elementary School in Newville for another day of presentations. I spoke to kindergarten through fifth grade students. I explained to all the students that honeybees pollinate some of their favorite foods. I also showed them some of the equipment beekeepers use. I spoke to about 200 students at this event.
Shepherdstown Elementary School Presentation
Monday, November 22nd, I traveled back to Mechanicsburg to Shepherdstown Elementary School where I gave presentations to two first grade classes. I spoke to the students about the jobs each bee does in the hive, showed them the smoker, and explained why honeybees are important for our food industry. I also taught the students how to "waggle dance" and explained why the bees waggle dance. I spoke to almost 80 students.
It has been such a reward experience representing the beekeeping industry and all of you this year and I am sorry to see it coming to a close. I wish the very best to both Alyssa and Emily and hope you will invite these two young women to your events in 2011.
Thank you all so very much for the experience.
From the Honey Queen (November 2010)
by Teresa Bryson
October has been keeping me busy with promotions, projects and college home work.
On September 29th I had my third radio interview, with WEEO 103.7 FM. It was an hour long interview and I spoke about the importance of honeybees, some of the problems beekeepers are facing, and how the public can help. I also spoke about the many uses of honey and some of the varieties of Honey found in Pennsylvania. I reach about 7,000 people.
On October 2nd I traveled to Penn State University for the Great Insect Fair. I spent the day helping with honey tasting, explaining why all types of honey do not taste the same or have the same color, and answering questions. I was able to speak to several thousand people and really enjoyed helping the beekeepers. Thank you to Maryann Frazier for inviting me.
I attended the Fall Farm Fest at Dutch Wonderland on October 3rd. The Fall Farm Fest included activities for children with a focus on agriculture. I had a display with educational information and honey sticks, which were a big attraction. I spoke to about 80 people.
On October 5th I attended the Franklin County Beekeepers Annual Banquet. I spoke to those in attendance and crowned the 2010-2011 Franklin County Honey Queen.
Greencastle Apple Fest
On October 9th I attended the Greencastle Apple Fest where I worked with the Franklin County Honey Queen, Shauna Pieruccini. We had a craft for the children and educational information. I spoke to about 100 people.
York Beekeepers Banquet
York Beekeepers Banquet
In the evening I traveled to York to attend the York Beekeepers Banquet. I spoke about the events I had attended and a few highlights of my year. Thank you to Jeremy Barnes for inviting me.
Paradise Elementary School
Paradise Elementary School (another class)
On October 13th I traveled to Paradise Elementary School to give presentations to the kindergarden through fourth grade students. I gave five presentations and spoke to over 300 students.
Although my year as queen is coming to an end, there is still time to arrange an apperance from me. Please contact Linda Hackenberg, 570-568-2337, or Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010, to schedule a promotion.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the PSBA convention in Lewisburg November 12 and 13.
From the Honey Queen (October 2010)
by Teresa Bryson
Hello everyone! Can you believe fall is upon us? Though I hope many of you had successful honey harvest in the past month, I have been kept busy promoting the sweetest part of agriculture.
On August 24th I traveled to the West End Fair where I set up a display with information about honey bees and beekeeping. While at the fair I was able to talk to members of the master gardener's group and member of the herb growers group. I also spoke to fair board members and several people interested in becoming beekeepers.
I attended the Somerset County Fair on August 27th, promoting our industry through a craft for the children and also educational information. I was able to speak to many people about how they can help the honeybee and provide those interested with information on becoming beekeepers.
On August 28th I attended the Hookstown fair where I worked with the local beekeepers in their stand. I was able to explain to the public what the bees do in the bee hive by showing the observation hive. I also used the observation hive to show that honey bees collect pollen and in doing so pollinate our food.
I attended the Kiwanis Wyoming Fair on September 4th. The day I was at the fair was the queen reunion day so I was able to speak too many of the past fair queens during their ice cream social. While at the fair I spoke to many people about the importance of honey bees and what they can do to help the honey bee population.
On September 5th I attended Crickfest, which is a community event outside of Penn State to benefit the Penns Valley Conservation Association. I spoke to many people at this event, including people who had been beekeepers and were interested in getting back into beekeeping. I also spoke to many children and their parents about why honey bees are important to our lives.
West Alexander Fair
I traveled to the West Alexander Fair on September 6th. I was at the fair on the first day so I was invited to ride in the opening parade. At my display I had a craft for children and had many children stop by to "Make a bee."
Langstroth Marker Dedication
Lancaster Farming Interview
On September 10th I traveled to Philadelphia to attend the marker placement for Rev. L.L. Langstroth in honor of his 200th birthday. I was one of the speakers that this amazing event. I spoke to those in attendance about Langstroth's life in Philadelphia and his "eureka" moment when he, while walking back from his apiary, had the idea to use the bee space throughout the hive instead of just at the inner cover. After the marker placement part of the event was over I was interviewed by a reporter for the Lancaster Farmer, which has approximately 168,000 readers. I was also quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which has over 356,189 readers. I then went to reception where I was able to speak too many of the guests. Thank you to the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild for inviting me.
I attended the York Fair on September 11th. At the fair I work with several of the York beekeepers at their stand and was able to speak to many people that stopped by to see the observation hive. I was able to explain to the public how honey is made and what some of the many uses of honey are. Thank you to the York Beekeepers for inviting me to work with you.
On September 15th I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the 2010 American Honey Queen, Lisa Schluttenhofer, for the day giving school presentations. We gave four presentations and spoke to approximately 300 students.
I traveled to Berlin for the Berlin Brothers Fair on September 17th. This fair has events at many locations and I was with the fruit and vegetable exhibits that were in the gymnasium of the high school. Each grade came through and I was able to speak to them about honey bees and answer their many questions. I spoke to approximately 600 students.
On September 18th I attended the Oley Fair. At the fair I spoke to many people who were interested in the current state of beekeeping and how the drought in many parts of the state was affecting the honey bees. I also participated in a hay ball toss and spoke to the over 100 people about the importance of honey bees. I spoke to approximately 150 people total at this event.
I attended the Gratz Fair on September 24th. I was able to speak to many people, both children and adults, about the importance of honey bees. I also spoke to some of the local beekeepers about how their hives were doing and if the drought had affected them. I spoke to approximately 50 people at this event. I still have room in my fall schedule for events and I would love to come to your part of Pennsylvania. Please contact Linda Hackenberg, 570-568-2337, or Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010, to set up and event with me.
I'll bee seeing you!!
From the Honey Queen (September 2010)
by Teresa Bryson
Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a great summer and that the honey flow has been good. On July 27th I traveled to the Bedford Fair. I gave two cooking demonstrations to approximately 40 people. I also set up a display about honey bees. While giving my cooking demonstrations, I had the opportunity to speak to those in attendance about the importance of honey bees, uses of honey, and how to become a beekeeper. I spoke to approximately 80 people total.
On July 28th I attended the Lebanon Fair. I gave one cooking demonstration where I made Holiday Party Punch, Honey Crispies, and a yogurt dip. While giving my demonstration, I also talked about the health uses of honey and the cosmetic uses of honey. I gave a second, 30 minute educational talk about the three types of honey bees, the importance of honey bees, and the many uses of honey. While at the Lebanon fair I was also interviewed by WLBR, the talk radio station in Lebanon. I spoke to 60 people while at the fair and reached another 50,000 through my radio interview.
On August 5th I rode in the Greencastle Old Home Week parade with the Franklin County Honey Queen, DeAnna Loudermilk. This was an especially enjoyable event for me in my hometown. The festival is held every three years. Approximately 2,500 people lined the parade route. August 10th I attended the Tioga County Fair, where I set up an educational display. I also provided a craft for the children I spoke to. I was able to talk to several beekeepers from the area and several people that were interested in becoming beekeepers. While at the Tioga fair, I spoke to approximately 50 people, including 4-H members and members of the fair board.
I traveled to the Carbon County Fair on August 11th. I spoke at the opening ceremonies about the importance of honey bees and the importance of supporting beekeepers. After speaking at the opening ceremonies I talked to several of the county commissioners and other town officials. I spoke to over 300 people while at this fair.
On August 13th I traveled to La Vale, Maryland, where I spoke at the Allegheny Mountain Beekeepers Association annual honey fest about the honey queen program and gave a cooking demonstration. While speaking about the queen program, I also talked about some of the events I have attended and encouraged those beekeepers from Maryland to consider starting a queen program. For my cooking demonstration, I made two dips and a drink. I spoke to 53 people at the event. On August 14th I attended the Greene County Fair, in Waynesburg. While at the fair, I had an educational display and I also provided a craft for the children I spoke to. Almost 30 people stopped by my display.
Honey Queen Teresa Bryson with other volunteers working in the PSBA ice cream stand at Ag Progress Days
From August 17th through the 19th I was attended Ag Progress Days in Rock Springs, just outside of State College, where I worked with the beekeepers in the educational center and the ice cream stand. While at Ag Progress Days, I attended the special guests lunch on Wednesday. I spoke to several members of congress at this luncheon about the importance of honey bees. I also was able to attend the tour of the apiary. Over 10,000 people stopped by the beekeepers booth. On August 20th I attended the Harford fair. At the fair I worked with the local beekeeper's organization in their stand. I helped with honey tasting, selling honey, and educated the public about honey bees. The stand included an observation hive, which I used to show the different types of honey bees, how you can tell them apart, and explained what each bee does in the hive. I spoke to approximately 250 people at this event
For National Honey Bee Awareness Day on August 21st, I traveled to Emmaus, where I attended the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers at the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary. I provided a craft for the children that attended, had information on the honey queen program, and helped with honey tasting. I also had the opportunity to assist with an extraction demonstration. I spoke to approximately 200 at this event.
I still have openings in my schedule for fall promotions and now is the time to schedule an appearance from me. Please contact Linda Hackenberg, 570-568-2337, or Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010, to confirm an event. Thank you for your support.
Current 'From the Honey Queen' article and detailed contact information available on our Honey Queen Program page.