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 all,

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 oíclock 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 itís a good idea!

My final event for the month of June took place in Beaver County. I attended Senator Vogelís Kids Extravaganza and enjoyed handing out honey sticks and I ďheartĒ 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 beesí 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 or 717-300-0146. Hope to see you all soon!

Best Wishes,
Queen Jessica

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 Iíve 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!

Thatís all for this month, I canít 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 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 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.

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.

Home - - - Top