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! 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 programís name out there. We had many interested young ladies sign up to be contacted with further information about how to become a honey queen. Isnít 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 wasnít helping out with extractions, you could usually find me at the observation hives. Iíve 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 didnít 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, Somersetís 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 or 717-300-0146.

Best wishes,
Queen Jessica

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

Who says being a Princess isnít tough work? This month I got the full view of the job in just one solid week! Thatís right, Iím 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 donít forget, if you would like me to come to any events this year, 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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