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.

2015 PA Honey Queen/Princess Crowned at the 2014 Fall Conference

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 bandís 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 familyís 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.

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

Hello everyone!

Queen Jessica talks about the queen bee during her presentation at Siemenís 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 Siemenís 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, Iím 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 Valentineís 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. Iím 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 clubís 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 or 717-300-0146.

Best wishes,
Queen Jessica

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

Greetings all bee enthusiasts! February was a month of firsts for me. Thatís right, Iím 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! Letís 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 or 717-300-0146.

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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