Pennsylvania State
Beekeepers Association

Honey Queen Program

Each year a Honey Queen is selected to become the main promoter of Pennsylvania's beekeeping industry. The Honey Queen travels throughout the state speaking at schools, fairs, festivals, beekeeping meetings, etc. She participates in media interviews and is always ready to promote the beekeeping and honey industries. The main focus of the Honey Queen program is education; feel free to invite her to give a presentation at your event. The Honey Queen also represents Pennsylvania each year at the American Honey Queen competition, held during the American Beekeeping Federation Convention.

PA Honey Queen Report
  by Jessica Onstead - 2015 PA Honey Queen

Hello everyone,

Teaching Boy Scouts about the Queen bee.

What a month! July had me buzzing with a wide array of events. I started out by attending Cub Scout day camp in Berlin, PA. I spoke to 6 groups of Cub Scouts / Webelos about the three different types of bees in the hive, beekeeping equipment and how bees make honey. The boys loved getting a chance to try on the bee suits as well as getting their hands on a smoker. At the end of my presentation we played a water relay that helped to illustrate how forager bees bring nectar back to the hive, and then pass that nectar from bee to bee to bee until it reaches its final resting place, a beeswax cell. After the game everyone was able to enjoy the “labors” of their work by snacking on a honey stick.

For my second event I hopped on the back of my dad’s convertible and cruised through the streets of Somerset in the annual Somerfest parade. This is Somerset’s biggest parade with well over 1,000 people in attendance. I was able to chat with State Senator Pat Stefano of Pennsylvania’s 32nd District before the parade got rolling. It was so great to hear the shouts of both children and adults alike that recognized me from visiting their schools and civic groups. I even ran into a girl who heard me speak in Waynesburg. Talk about a small world!

Reading to children at the Mary S. Biesecker library.

Later in the week I visited the Mary S. Biesecker library to participate in their summer reading program. I myself am a huge reader, so I was extremely happy to not only get the chance to teach local children about honeybees through reading but also advocate literacy. I was so excited to read them a book from one of my favorite series, The Magic School Bus. The kids really enjoyed the adventures of Ms. Frizzle and her class as they went “Inside a Beehive.”

For my fourth event I travelled to Hershey, PA to visit the beautiful Hershey Gardens and participate in their Butterflies and Beyond event. The event revolved around the four B’s that are important to gardens: butterflies, bees, birds and bugs. The kids in attendance really enjoyed my “Dress Like a Beekeeper” activity as well as observing the honeybee specimens that the Hershey Gardens lent me to display at my table. The highlight of the event was when the group of 30+ students from China stopped by to learn about honeybees. They really enjoyed my facts as well as tasting some fresh American honey.

Meeting up with the 2014/2015 Somerset County Fair Queen and the 2015 Meyersdale Maple Queen.

For my final event I attended the Somerset County Extension Office’s centennial celebration. I participated in the Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! event held at the Somerset County library where I put on an educational presentation about bees and honey. I then set up a display where people could examine photos of honey bees, get their hands on some beekeeping equipment, taste honey and ask questions. Towards the end of the evening I even got to meet up with some other Somerset County royalty, the 2014-2015 Somerset Fair Queen and the 2015 Meyersdale Maple Queen.

As always thank you all for your support. I am looking forward to keeping busy the rest of the year so please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146 to invite me to your upcoming fair, club meeting or event. Looking forward to meeting you!

Best Wishes,
Queen Jessica

PA Honey Princess Report
  by Blair Hetherington - 2015 PA Honey Princess

Besides getting to see a lot more of the Northern parts of PA, I’ve gotten better at getting lost and finding my way back to where I’m supposed to be this summer! This month I spent a lot of time in parts of Pennsylvania that I never really knew existed. The views were fabulous and the presentations were a blast. I feel as though I’m getting better every time at handling those off the wall questions from kids and doing an impromptu speech.

This month I spent lots of times in libraries (not complaining because all had air conditioning) focusing on pollination and what would happen to the food supply if the bees didn’t exist. Sometimes saying “without those bees, you couldn’t have your cheese burger or any of the extra stuff that comes on it” really gets to the students at a new level.

I also got to spend some time at the Lehigh Valley Zoo at Farm Fest. Being my first time at the zoo, I was astounded at how beautiful the place looked. I got the chance to meet with many children and even educate their parents on what flowers to plant to help pollinators. I’d like to thank Cathy Voriseck for the great bee thumb print craft she did at Farm Show because that was an easy and portable craft to use with all my visitors!

I look forward to fair season starting up and hitting larger groups to explain our everyday work as beekeepers. Don’t forget, if you would like to invite me or Queen Jessica to your event, contact Rachel Bryson at or (717) 300-0146


Meet the 2015 PA Honey Queen/Princess

2015 PA Honey Queen and Princess

The Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program is proud to announce that Jessica Onstead was selected as the 2015 Pennsylvania Honey Queen during the PSBA Fall Conference in Lewisburg, Pa. Jessica will represent PSBA in 2015, attending and speaking at varied events throughout the year.

Jessica, 21, is the daughter of Stephen Onstead and Fritz Onstead of Somerset. She is a graduate of Somerset Area High School, where she was a varsity member of the Lady Eagles tennis team, a member of the National Honor Society, a student of the month for the Somerset Kiwanis Club and a Somerset Welfare League cotillion honoree. Jessica is currently attending The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for a degree in Business Economics and hopes to one day own her own business. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, baking and collecting stamps.

Blair Hetherington will represent PSBA as Honey Princess. Blair, 20, is the daughter of Barron and Robin Hetherington of Ringtown. She is a graduate of North Schuylkill High School, where she was a member of the homecoming court and was the marching band’s featured baton twirler for three years. Blair is currently attending the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) for a degree in Food Science and a minor in Horticulture. She is a member of the Food Science Club, EARTH House and Ag Advocates. In her free time, Blair is a Crew Manager on her family’s 500 acre strawberry and vegetable farm.

To invite Queen Jessica or Princess Blair to your event, contact Rachel Bryson at or (717) 300-0146. See more photos at the Honey Queen Program's Facebook page.

Honey Queen Program Contact Information

Invite the PA Honey Queen to your event!

PA Honey Queen Contestant Information and Application Form

PA Honey Queen Program Facebook Page

Rachel Bryson
(PA Honey Queen Program Chair)
610 Strite Rd.
Chambersburg, PA 17202
Phone: 717-643-0010
Cell: 717-300-0146

Linda Hackenburg
1466 Crossroads Dr.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
April - January 570-568-2337
January- April 352-583-2796
Cell: 570-850-1976

Previous 'Honey Queen Report' articles have been archived.
A listing of previous years' Honey Queens/Princesses is also available.

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