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.

Announcing the Upcoming 2016 Honey Queen

Sarah McTish - Selected as 2016 PA Honey Queen

Sarah McTish was chosen to be the 2016 Pennsylvania Honey Queen during the recent PSBA Fall Conference in Lewisburg, Pa. Sarah will represent PSBA in 2016, attending and speaking at varied events throughout the year. Congratulations, Sarah!

See more on our Honey Queen Facebook page!

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

Visiting Dutch Gold Honey in Lancaster, PA

September was another busy month of me, buzzing all over the state educating the public about the importance of honeybees. My month started off with a bang by visiting Dutch Gold Honey in Lancaster. Ever since my crowning I was crossing my fingers that I would get to tour the plant, so I was very happy to experience all that Dutch Gold had to offer. It was amazing to see the huge barrels of honey from all over the world that were waiting to be bottled and sent out to consumers. Later that afternoon I visited the “Young at Heart” club, where I put on a presentation covering basic honey bee facts. The seniors really enjoyed my presentation and asked many questions. It was so great to see how they anticipated my coming with providing honey sticks for all of the attendees.

My next event was close to home at Mountain Craft Days in Somerset. I enjoyed spending the morning with Whitehorse Mountain Apiaries and talking to festival goers about bees and honey. It’s amazing how excited people get about purchasing locally produced honey, especially when they have liquid, chunk, and comb honey to choose from. Beeswax candles and cosmetic products were other items that the crowds were especially interested in.

The following week I had the opportunity to set up an educational display at the Berlin Brothersvalley Community Fair, which was viewed by fair attendees the whole three days of the fair. Later that week I was stationed at my table to hand out honey sticks as well as answer questions about the objects on my table. The display garnered a lot of interest in the Honey Queen Program as well as beekeeping in general.

In honor of National Honey Month, Somerset Trust Company in Somerset invited me to “bring my bees to the bank” as part of their monthly customer appreciation events. I had the opportunity to showcase my observation hive as well as hand out honey sticks and brochures to customers. Interacting with an observation hive is one of my favorite things to do as Honey Queen, so I was very happy to be able to show bank customers the inner workings of the hive.

The Angora Garden’s Junior Gardeners enjoyed creating a honey bee inspired craft.

My final event for September took me to the Angora Gardens in White Oak, where I put on a short presentation, cooking demonstration and supplied a craft for the Angora Gardens Junior Gardeners. The group really appreciated my presentation and many were copying the recipe for my honey berry smoothies. After answering a myriad of questions the junior gardeners and I created honeybee magnets by decorating a clothespin with markers, googly eyes and iridescent pipe cleaners. After the event I was approached by journalists from the Tribune Review. I was overjoyed to find that the article and my photo were then featured on the front page of The Daily News.

But wait there is more! A Honey Queen’s duties go well beyond putting on presentations and visiting fairs and festivals. This month I was able to acquire space on a digital billboard located at exit 110 of the PA Turnpike. The message proudly declares that “September is National Honey Month” as well as encouraging viewers to “Buy Local Honey”. I also met with a sophomore currently studying at The University of Pittsburgh who wanted to interview me about bees, beekeeping and my role as the current Pennsylvania Honey Queen for a thesis she is writing for her nonfiction writing class. Trust me, anything can happen when you are a Honey Queen!

As always thank you all for your support. I still have a few months left of my reign 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

September was a quiet month for me. Just starting my junior year at Penn State, I’ve done lots of running around getting my semester going and getting moved into college. That being said, I peeled back slightly and had a calm month. I had a wonderful time going to the Juniata Fair and doing a presentation on pollinators and general beekeeping. I had many questions from the audience and even sparked some interest in farmers looking at getting into commercial beekeeping. What has really intrigued me are the opportunities to speak with adults on the beekeeping industry. I have had many great discussions on the future of agriculture and how bees can shape our industry.

As my reign starts to wind down, I’m getting my scrapbook together and lots of paperwork for the beekeeper’s convention. I am eager to see you all again in Lewisburg in about a month. I am excited to also see the new faces of first year beekeepers!!

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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