Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association

Going Strong Since 1904

PA Honey Queen Report (December 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Greetings once again beekeepers! I hope that everyone had a very blessed Thanksgiving spent with your loved ones. On November 9 and 10, I attended the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Convention in Lewisburg. During the annual banquet I gave my three minute marketing presentation on the versatility of honey, which I will be presenting during the American Beekeeping Federation convention in Hershey this January. Thank you to everyone who gave me very helpful ideas to make my presentation the best that it can be.

I also gave a summary of my year so far, which included:
  • 166 Presentations
  • 16,164 Miles Traveled
  • 4.4 Million People Reached Throughout my Year

2013 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Elena Hoffman, center, is joined by 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Jessica Long, left, and former Pennsylvania Honey Queen and current American Honey Queen Alyssa Fine after the PSBA annual banquet.

At the beginning of my reign I set three goals for myself. My first goal was to do promotions in 30 different counties; I was able to visit 33 different counties this year. My second goal was to have 100 Facebook fans by the end of my reign. The Facebook page is a great way to share pictures from promotions and let people know about recipes using honey. We now have 108 Facebook fans. If you have not liked our page, please visit it and like us! The last goal that I set for myself was to get two contestants for the 2013 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Contest. When I was at the Union County West End Fair, I met a very intelligent beekeeper and her name is Elena Hoffman. I had the honor of crowning Elena as our 2013 Honey Queen and I know that she will do a great job representing Pennsylvania beekeepers. I would like to wish her good luck as she travels the state.

On November 17, I attended the 2 Cs and A Bee s Annual Banquet. It was really great celebrating this annual event with local beekeepers. I was given time to give a summary of my year to the association that sponsored and supported me through this whole journey. Afterward, I sold chances to win the beautiful quilt benefiting the American Honey Queen Program.

As the end of my reign is getting closer, I am excited to attend the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference that will be held in Hershey this January. I will be attending and representing Pennsylvania beekeepers. In preparation for the American competition, I am selling raffle tickets to benefit the national program. The tickets, which are for a Queen-size quilt, are $5 each and you do not need to be present to win. To purchase a ticket, please visit me at the Pennsylvania Farm Show or contact Rachel.

This year truly has been an amazing opportunity for me. I want to thank all of the PSBA members and all of the county associations for making this year possible.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity over this past year! Please contact Rachel Bryson at or (717) 643-0010 to book your date for Elena Hoffman, our 2013 Honey Queen.

PA Honey Queen Report (November 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello again beekeepers! This year has just seemed to fly by! I am really looking forward to the PSBA annual meeting in Lewisburg on November 9 and 10. Make your reservations now and I hope to see everyone there!

I finished up September with a promotion at the Bryce Jordan Center, which is part of Penn State University. I attended the Great Insect Fair, working with Penn State students and Maryann Frazer. I helped with the taste testing of thirteen different types of honey that was provided, as well as answering questions at one of the two observation hives. I also had a chance to try chocolate covered crickets (although I did pass on holding cockroaches).

Farm City Days

On October 4th, I had a chance to be in the building where I officially started, the Farm Show Complex. I promoted with the Capital Area Beekeepers Association at the 13th Annual Farm City Day. It was a chance for local schools to bring their students in to learn a lot of different agricultural aspects. We spoke to around 800 students and teachers. Thank you to Jim Hoover, Tom Jones, and John Novinger for making this day so great.

October 6th I attended the Hummelstown Fall Festival, in Hummelstown. The Capital Area Beekeepers set up a booth with an observation hive, which was a big hit. Together, we answered questions, handed out stickers and brochures, and had a good day! Thank you to Wil Shirey for inviting me as well as all of the other familiar faces that visited during the day.

Saucon Valley Farmers Market

The next day I was in Hellertown for the Saucon Valley Farmers Market. I spent my day working side by side with Victor Rush, from Rush Apiaries and a member of the Lehigh Valley Beekeeper Association. Attendance was not its usual, with it being cold and rainy, but during the day we still spoke to 150 people.

On October 13th, I enjoyed going to Alexandria for the annual Hartslog Day Festival. After helping answer questions and selling honey, and selling raffle tickets, I was able to relax and enjoy the street fair. This one day event welcomes almost 2,000 people every year.

As a reminder I am selling raffle tickets for a handcrafted bench set, valued over $1,000. Tickets are $1 each and the winner will be drawn during the PSBA Convention Banquet in November. You do not have to be present to win. All of the money that is raised will go straight back to the Honey Queen Program to help future queens. Please support this program by buying chances or selling them.

I cannot thank everyone enough for this once in a life time opportunity! But the end of my reign is quickly approaching. Before the year is over, be sure to schedule your promotion for the Pennsylvania Honey Queen. Contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or today!

PA Honey Queen Report (October 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Greetings beekeepers! The fall season is already here! It s the time of year that beekeepers start pulling the final honey supers and inserting mouse guards for the cold weather. One more month has come and gone with promotions for the PSBA.

To finish out the month of August, on the 29th, I went to Family Night at the Shippensburg Church of the Brethren. I spoke to 100 people about the importance of honey bees, followed by a honey tasting. Following the event, there was a great article in the Shippensburg Sentinel which reached 5,100 readers.

The next day, I traveled to Hanover, PA. I spoke to several people at an evening learning session. After talking about honey bees, visitors had a chance to try some different types of honey that they usually don t try. Blueberry honey was the favorite.

On September 1, I attended the Big Knob Fair. The rainy day didn t keep fair goers and bee lovers away from the information booth. I spoke to 800 people throughout the day and welcomed children to the stand with stickers and honey sticks. The next day, I was at the Coburn Park for the annual Crickfest. During the beautiful weather, I spoke to almost everyone that attended, I estimated around 300.

Jessica poses for a photo with Jason Michael Caroll

The following day I was at the Cambria County Fair. I worked with members of the 2 Cs and A Bee Association, answering questions and handing out stickers. With everyone visiting the fair and passing their booth, I spoke to 800 people. While grabbing a bite to eat, I ran into their newly crowned Fair Queen. She invited me to the Jason Michael Caroll concert that evening. I had the opportunity to introduce myself to the 750 people attending. I also had a chance to talk and get my picture with Jason Michael Caroll as well!!

September 4, I had a chance to visit the Jenner Township 4-H Club in Friedens, PA. I spoke about the importance of honey bees and that everyone can be a beekeeper. Afterward, I had a chance to listen to four of the members give their demonstrations. It is really great to see students get interested in agriculture the same way I did growing up.

On September 7th, I attended the York Fair! I had a chance to help point out the queen in the observation hive along with answering some questions. I would like to thank Jeremy Barnes and Jennifer and David Bates, for a wonderful evening after being at the fair.

The next day I was in Hershey, PA, for the Ugh, it s a Bug! event. Along with members of the Capital Area Beekeepers Association, we spoke to children and parents about the different types of bee. The children also had a chance to try on a real beekeepers suit! Thank you to Stu and Linda for making my time at the beautiful Hershey Gardens a great time!

September 9, I was in Philadelphia for Honey Fest. The schedule of events for the day included, mead making lessons, children s story time with a parade, cooking demonstrations, and much more! I gave two cooking demos and I also helped in the children s area and with the observation hive. I had a great time with the 300 people that attended.

September 11 through the 15, was the local Sinking Valley Farm Show. During the week, I helped at the 2 Cs and A Bee booth answering questions with the observation hive. I also sold more raffle tickets for the bench set we are raffling off this year. On September 17, I was in Gratz, PA for the Gratz Fair. I spent my day answering questions and handing out honey recipe brochures to the 100 visitors.

Queen Jessica inspects her hives during a day off from promoting

On the 20th, I had my wisdom teeth extracted and I would like to thank everyone who has sent get well cards and emails. I am so honored to be your 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen! I just want to thank everyone again for this amazing opportunity! With my busy schedule this year, if I did not make it to your events this year please contact Rachel Bryson at (717) 643-0010 or, to save the date for next year.

PA Honey Queen Report (September 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello once again, fellow beekeepers! I hope everyone is enjoying this busy fair season by entering honey and other hive products. Good luck to all!!

To finish out July, I attended the annual Spring Dam Weekend, in Roaring Spring. I answered many questions about honey bee products. Throughout the day I spoke to about 300 people.

The first week of August, my family and I took a vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada. While on tour at the Hoover Dam, we met a lovely family who were from Hanover, Pennsylvania. After some conversation, the gentleman gave me a funny look and asked Are you the Pennsylvania Honey Queen? I was shocked that someone over 1,000 miles away recognized me as the state Honey Queen.

When I got back to Pennsylvania, I was at Union County West End Fair on August 10. For the Kids Day events, I handed out honey bee coloring books and honey sticks. I also answered many questions and had a surprise visit from Linda Hackenberg. I really enjoy seeing familiar faces all over the state!

The next day, I attended the Governor s Residents for Nature s Pollinators event. Pennsylvania Backyard Beekeepers Association and I answered questions and did two open hive demonstrations. I helped pass out some delicious Vanilla Honey Ice Cream.

August 14 through the 16th, I was at Ag Progress Days at Penn State's research center at Rock Springs. The first day I took Honey Ice Cream orders, sold some honey beeswax candles and honey sticks, and even dipped some ice cream myself. On the 15th, I attended the Governor s Reception, where the Secretary of Ag, George Greig, spoke. I also got to hear talks by the President of Penn State University and President of Agriculture at Penn State University. I spoke with many state senators and legislators during the lunch, and afterwards I attended the Secretary of Agriculture social. Here the past Secretaries of Ag from 1973 to present spoke about their memories and challenges that they faced during their time in office. The last day, I sold raffle tickets for the queen s Item. During these three few days, I was able to reach about 5,000 people.

Handcrafted Bench Set Raffle to support Honey Queen Program

This year I will be selling raffle tickets for a handcrafted bench set, valued at nearly $1,000. Tickets are one dollar each and the winner will be drawn during the PSBA Convention Banquet in November. You do not have to be present to win. All the money raised, will go straight back to the Honey Queen Program. Please support this great program by buying or selling chances.

On August 18, I helped celebrate National Honey Bee Day with the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers. Members of the association did an extraction demonstration and answered a lot of questions. I did two different cooking demonstrations during the day. To end the day, all the children who attended the event (plus some adults) acted out the different jobs that bees have in the hive. We had builders, guards, a queen (not me), nurses, foragers, and of course drones. At the end of the season, a beekeeper came and took the honey, but he made sure that all of the bees in the hive got honey first. It was a great way to show children how hard honey bees work.

On August 19th, I attended the 2 Cs and A Bee Summer picnic. I spoke about my year so far and sold raffle tickets. Members in attendance enjoyed playing a game of hive tool toss. Thank you to all of the members for supporting this program for future queens.

TV interview of Honey Queen at the Crawford County Fair

On Monday the 20th, I attended the Crawford County Fair. I started in the honey booth answering questions, helped sell local honey and spoke to 1,500 people. I then went to Radio Alley, where I did 4 radio interviews, 2 television interviews, and 1 newspaper interview. When I finally returned to the booth, I handed the winner of the first annual Crawford County Scavenger Hunt her prize. A HUGE thank you to Charlie and Cathy Vorisek for making my visit to their fair the best it could be and for hosting me at their home.

Honey Queen visits the Hookstown Fair

The next day, I attended the Hookstown Fair. I was able to help the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers answer questions, find the queen in the beautiful observation hive, and sell some hive products. Although the weather wasn t the best, we still talked to 200 people about the importance of honey bees.

The 22nd, I had a chance to visit the Westmoreland County Beekeepers Association at the Westmoreland County Fair. I had the chance to talk to fair goers about pollination and different types of honey.

On August 24th, I stopped by the 155th annual Harford Fair and had a chance to help the Susquehanna Beekeepers' Association answer questions, to almost 1,000 people who were visiting the fair. I was also there to help with an open hive demonstration where I helped answer any questions that the crowd had.

I am really enjoying my year as your 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. Thank you to all of the individuals and associations who continue to support me and the program. Please consider purchasing or selling some raffle tickets so that the 2013 Honey Queen can enjoy her year as much as I have. If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece, neighbor, etc. who is interested in the Honey Queen Program, please consider passing along information about the PA Honey Queen Program to her by contacting Rachel Bryson at (717) 300-0146 or

PA Honey Queen Report (August 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello Beekeepers!! Another month has gone by with promoting a great industry. I hope everyone has made it through this hot and dry month.

To start out the month of July, I attended the Laurel Hill 4-H Club, in Rockwood, on the second. I spoke to eleven 4-H members about how they could help the honey bees, by planting different pollinator flowers. Once I was finished speaking to the members, the local Boy Scouts leader asked if I could speak to his pack and troop. I was able to speak to 15 Boy Scout Members.

Whole Foods Market in Philadelphia

On the 6th, I attended the Whole Foods Market in Philadelphia. The super market was hosting a honey bee theme month. I was able to speak to around 200 people and hand out samples of local honey.

Agricultural Educators Regional Conference in Grantsville

July 10, I attended the National Association of Agricultural Educators Regional Conference, in Grantsville. During their lunch break I spoke to 300 teachers about the Honey Queen program and how they can invite me to their school. If they were not from Pennsylvania, I informed them about the American Honey Queen Program.

Summer Camp at Palmyra

The next day, I was in Palmyra were I spoke to 65 students at a summer camp. I spoke to the students about the importance of honey bees and the foods that we depend on for their pollination. They also had the chance to try 5 different types of honey; their favorites were Orange Blossom and Blueberry.

Master Gardener Kids Camp at Dauphin

On the 12th of July, I began my day in Dauphin where I spoke to 35 children that attended the Master Gardener Kids Camp. When I arrived, I went with the students to their pollinator garden and looked for all of the different pollinator insects that we could find. After we talked about the different types of honey bees, they also were able to try the different types of honey. Their favorite type was Tupelo and Blueberry.

That evening I attended the Milksquirt 4-H Club in Berlin. I spoke to 80 people about the different types of honey and the products of the hive. I answered a lot of questions about the different foods honey bees pollinate that we depend on. July 17, I was in Somerset, where I talked to A Cut Above 4-H Club. As the members of the club were preparing for round-up, I spoke to them about how the cooking club can use honey in their items for the fair.

On the 21st, I attended the PSBA Annual Summer Picnic. I updated everyone in attendance about what I have done as the Honey Queen so far and my goals. I informed them that I have traveled 11,000 miles, spoke to around 95,000 people, have done 147 presentations, done promotions in 29 counties, and have increased our Facebook fans to 80 people. It was really great to see new faces and familiar ones as well. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves!

July 24 through the 26th, I attended the Boy Scout Camp, at Camp Anderson in Tyrone. The first day I spoke to the boys about the different types of bees and the different products. On the second day, they had a chance to try the different types of honey. Once they were finished trying the honey, we went down to the pond to identify different flowers that honey bees like. The first scout to find a honey bee won a special honey stick (aka, a flavored honey stick). The last day of the camp we made a fruit dip then had a chance to try another honey type. After everyone was finished, we played Honey Bee Trivia . The boys had to run to a true or false base after hearing a statement of something that we covered during the week. Thank you to all of the scouts that helped out!

Please be sure to like the "PENNSYLVANIA HONEY QUEEN PROGRAM" Facebook page to get up-to-date on my most recent promotions. If you have an event coming up that you would like me to attend please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or Thank you for all of your continued support throughout my year!

PA Honey Queen Report (July 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello Pennsylvania beekeepers. We could not have asked for better weather for this past month! With this great weather, the bees are going strong, creating (hopefully) a great honey flow.

To finish out the month of May, I attended the Country Memories Day in downtown McVeytown. I had a chance to walk through the street fair in the cute little town that welcomed around 2,000 visitors that day. At the beekeeper's area, we talked to the visitors about the observation hive and the importance of honey bees. We also displayed beekeeping equipment, educational information, and recipe brochures. During the day, I was able to go on air six different times with WJUN 92.5 FM, which reaches 50,000 listeners.

On May 31, I went to Bellwood-Antis Elementary School, a local elementary school in my area, where I spoke to 100 first graders. The students just finished learning about Garden Helpers, and we all know that honey bees are one of the most important Garden Helper. All of the students had lots of great questions about how they can help the honey bees in our area.

To start the month of June and to end the 2012 school promotion season, on the 4th I went to Moshannon Valley High School in Houtzdale. I spoke to 150 students in seventh through eleventh grades about the benefits of honey. Congratulations to all 2012 seniors, and I wish you the best of luck!

Belleville Farmers' Market

On June 6, I attended the Belleville Farmers' Market. I helped sell local honey along with answering questions. The gentleman and his mother that I worked with have been selling honey in the same location for the past 40 years!

June 11th, I spoke to 50 parents and members of the Buffalo Creek 4-H Club, in Meyersdale. I talked to them about the different types of honey bees and why are they so important. After I gave my presentation, I made Honey Raspberry Whipped Cream topping for the ice cream party they had after their meeting.

I spent the next day in Bucks County. To start the day I went to the Doylestown Library were I spoke to 35 parents and children. I would like to thank Gary Schongalla-Bowman for taking me out for lunch and helped fill my free time. That evening I went to the Bucks County Beekeepers Picnic. Even though it rained, the weather did not alter the great evening. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner and listened to live music; then I had a chance to address the club members. I spoke about the many things I have learned while being your Honey Queen, my personal goals, and an overview of my promotions so far. In addition to Gary, I would like to thank Jim and Betty Diamond for being such a great host family for me.

On June 17th, I attended my local association's monthly meeting where we learned that some counties are having some problems with townships regulating beekeeping. I would like to let you know that you have my total support and if you need anything I would love to come to your area and help to educate the public.

Schnecksville Community Fair

June 18th, I started my day at the Roaring Springs Area Library. I spoke to 10 people about the types of honey and parts of the hive. Since it was a small group I was able to answer everyone's questions. That night I attended the Schnecksville Community Fair, where I gave a short speech at the opening ceremonies about the importance of honey bees and I also brought awareness on the loss honey bees could have on our food supply. Once the ceremony was over, I took a tour of the fair with the 2012 PA State Fair Queen and the 2011 Allentown Fair Queen. While touring the fair that welcomes 4,000 each day of the fair, I handed out recipe brochures and stickers as well as answered some interesting questions.

Schuylkill Canal Day

On June 24th, I spent my day at the Schuylkill Canal Day in Mont Clare. With 1,000 visitors in attendance, the honey sticks seemed to be the perfect gift for winners of "Honey Bee Trivia". When I had down time I walked through the event and handed out more recipe brochures and the famous "I Love You Honey" stickers.

Another busy month full of promotions is starting for me, but I would still love to come promote with you. To arrange a promotion, contact Rachel Bryson at 717-300-0146 or

PA Honey Queen Report (June 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello beekeepers! It has been a busy month full of promotions! I have been on the road two or three times a week promoting our great industry, answering lots of questions, and hopefully inspiring people to start beekeeping.

Gettysburg Garden Club

To finish out the month of April, on the 26th I was in Gettysburg to speak to the Gettysburg Garden Club. Some of the 50 woman that attended the meeting were interested in putting hives in their gardens after hearing the benefits of keeping bees.

The next day I was in the Aliquippa Area. I started my day at Margaret Ross Elementary School, where I spoke to 28 kindergartners. My next stop was at Hopewell Elementary (Kane Street School). I gave two presentations to 38 kindergartners. To finish out my day, I made one last stop at Independence Elementary School, where I spoke to 46 kindergartners. All of the students were surprised on how many foods that they like are dependent on the pollination of honey bees.

Mifflin Park_Eco-Fest

On April 28, I attended the Mifflin Park Elementary Schools Eco-Fest. The students had to stop at 10 of the 14 different booths to gain entrance into the Recycling Carnival. Since I was one of the booths I was able to see over 550 students and parents throughout the day.

April 30, I was invited to Menno Haven Retirement Community, in Franklin County, for an afternoon tea. I spoke to about 60 adults on the importance of honey bees. Then I handed the microphone off to Jeff LaSorsa, a Franklin County Beekeeper, who spoke on the tools beekeepers use. While Jeff was talking, I made Honey Raspberry Tea.

To start out the month of May, on the 2nd I spoke to 70 students at the Punxsutawney Head Start. I read the story "The Beeman" then showed the children what they would look like and where they would live if they were honey bees.

The next day I surprised my cousins by visiting their elementary schools. The first school I attended was Kistler Elementary in Mount Union, where I spoke to 38 second graders. My next stop was at Strodes Mill Elementary School where I spoke to 45 third graders. My relatives were so excited that their cousin "the queen" came to visit their classes.

I had a very busy day on May 5th. To begin my day I spoke to 15 people at Immanuel Preschool in Shillington. All of the children had a great time trying out the tools that beekeepers use. After the presentation, I attended the Phoenixville Farmers Market. At the farmers market I was able to speak to around 200 people and invite them to a local caf for a round table discussion. During the round table, local beekeepers from the area spoke about their experiences of beekeeping while I gave out Apiary Registration forms and more information about PSBA.

On May 8th I was in Newville, where I spoke to 60 first graders, 58 kindergarteners, and 66 second graders at Mount Rock Elementary. Since the students only had 21 days left, the teachers wanted extra honey bee facts so they could give a new fact of the day every day until summer break.

Laurel Highlands Middle School (Uniontown, Pa.)

May 10th, I spent my whole day at the Laurel Highlands Middle School in Uniontown. I spoke to 1,350 students in 9 presentations! It made for a long day but it was worth it.

The next day I visited R.W. Clark Elementary School in Uniontown. I gave 6 presentations to 182 students from Kindergarten through Second grade.

May 12th I traveled to Lebanon, to attend the Jack & Jill Preschool Science Fair. During this beautiful day, I was able to meet the 2000 Pennsylvania Honey Queen/2001 American Honey Queen, Renee (Blatt) Troutman.

On May 16th, I was back at Forest Hills Elementary, in Sidman to speak to 156 fifth graders about pollination. The following day I visited the Shamokin Children's Center, where I talked to 4 and 5 year-olds about honey bees. They taught me their bee dance before I read "The Beeman" book to them.

May 18th, I had a chance to visit the Wilson Middle School in Carlisle. I gave two presentations to 150 seventh graders. All of the students were surprised that honey bees need to visit 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.

"Farm to Table Festival" at Fox Chase Farm

I traveled to Philadelphia on May 19th for the Fox Chase Farm "Farm to Table Festival." While I was speaking to a group of people, one of the thirteen hives behind me decided it was a good time to swarm. This was a perfect opportunity to explain what the bees were doing and to show that honey bees are gentle. During the event I showed the swarm and made bees wax candles with nearly 600 people.

On May 23, I spoke to the Cumru Elementary School reading group. The "Bee a Reader" group was celebrating summer and had me present on why honey bees are important for us. There were also some beekeepers in the audience that I had a chance to talk with.

The next day I was in York, to talk to 100 third grade honey bee geniuses at Lincolnway Elementary School. They knew a lot of information because I spoke to their teacher at the Farm Show, and she had a chance to watch the extraction demonstration.

Although I have been busy as a bee, I am still enjoying going to schools and preparing for the fair season. Be sure to contact Rachel Bryson at 717-300-0146 or, so I can attend your fair. Don't forget to go to the "Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program" page on Facebook and like us to stay up-to-date with my promotions.

PA Honey Queen Report (May 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Greetings beekeepers! Who would have guessed that in April, one week beekeepers would be catching swarms and the next week shoveling snow? For the Long Family, we caught our first swarm (twice)! I hope everyone else has better luck with their swarm calls throughout the season.

To finish out the month of March I spoke to 90 seventh graders at Lamberton Middle School in Carlisle on the 28th. The next day I traveled to Mars (in Pennsylvania), to inform 102 second grade students that without honeybees, we would lose one-third of our food supply.

Lehigh Valley Zoo

To start out the month of April, I attended the Lehigh Valley Zoo's opening day for the "Farm in the Zoo" exhibit. I was invited to speak at the opening ceremony, which started off the day's events. Throughout the day, I was able to show more than 1,800 visitors the queen bee in the observation hive that Ken Hoover (president of 2 C's and a Bee Association) provided for me.

On April 10th, I spoke to 260 students and teachers at the Latrobe Elementary School in Latrobe. After I set up, the school asked if more students than originally planned could attend. Of course I welcomed all that wanted to learn about honey bees. All of the students greeted me with two bee songs that were about parts of bees and the plants they pollinate.

Avella Elementary School

April 12th, I spent my day at the Avella Elementary School in Avella, speaking to 340 elementary students. Once word got out that I had a free period, they raced me across the street to the high school where I spoke to two science classes about pollination and Colony Collapse Disorder.

The next day I spoke to 80 second graders at the Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Erie. The students recently finished learning about pollination and had me in to answer more questions. I was only scheduled for half an hour but ended up staying a little over an hour with them.

Fairview Elementary School

On April 23rd, I spent my morning in Pittsburgh at Fairview Elementary School, where I spoke to 60 second graders about different types of bees in the hive. There were even some students that wanted to know more details on how to start the great hobby of beekeeping.

The next day I spent my afternoon at the East Union Intermediate Center in Cheswick. I was able to present to 200 eager third graders. Once I was done with my portion of the presentation I started taking questions, but instead the students wanted to figure out what was pollinated by honey bees in their lunch. They were very interested in learning how much we depend on honey bees for our food supply.

I am really enjoying this opportunity to be your Honey Queen this year. I cannot thank everyone enough for their outstanding support for the program! If there is an event that you would like for me to attend please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-300-0146 or, to reserve the date. Don't forget to go to the "Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program" page on Facebook and like us to stay up-to-date with my promotions.

PA Honey Queen Report (April 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello fellow beekeepers! We could not have asked for a more beautiful month to get our bees through the winter, so far. This weather has also made it easier to travel across the state promoting the bee keeping industry!

Acmetonia Primary School

To finish out the month of February I traveled to Cheswick on the 28th to speak to 90 students. Third graders at Acmetonia Primary School were all looking forward to learning about honey bees, so before my visit they prepared questions for me.

On March 1st, I gave two presentations to 465 students and 25 teachers at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School. Everyone was excited for "Read Across America Day" and I was able to help celebrate this day by reading beekeeping book to the younger classes.

March 9th, I gave my first television interview on the Week-End Wrap Up with Blair County Commissioner, Terry Tommassetti. We talked about why honey bees are so important and how to become a member of a local beekeeping association. The 20 minute interview began at 9 am and was viewed by 40,000 people in the Altoona Area.

The next day, March 10, I attended the Burgh Bees Beekeeping 102 Class in Pittsburg. Along with 50 other people, I learned about what it takes to be a second year beekeeper. I had an opportunity to talk about the Honey Queen Program and my goals for the year during the class.

On the 13th, I gave a presentation at the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library. During the presentation I was able to do a bee craft with all of the children that attended. I also handed out the Honey Bee Catchers made by Cathy Vorisek. Since this was a smaller group I was able to answer everyone's questions.

Forest Hills Elementary School

My next promotion was on March 14th at Forest Hills Elementary School in Sidman. I gave one presentation to 142 students and 12 teachers. Once I told them that I had to go through an interview process to be the Honey Queen, they thought of every question involving, and not involving, honey bees.

Jr. Grange at Oxford

The next day I traveled to Oxford to give my first cooking demonstration to the local Grange. I made Banana Pops for the Junior Grange. Banana Pops are bananas cut in half, covered with honey and topped with graham crackers. For the adult Grange I made Honey Poppy Seed Dressing and Honey Raspberry Tea, which was the most popular dish of the night.

March 18th I attended the 2 Cs and a Bee's monthly meeting, where I had a chance to thank the members once again for being my sponsor. I would also like to thank some of the members that shared with me craft ideas for older children and adults, along with more promotional items. All of these items have been helpful already.

March 20th, I traveled to Punxsutawney where I gave three different presentations to preschool through high school age students at Punxsutawney Christian School. Although I presented to different age groups, a lot of their questions were similar like "When a bee stings you, does it die?" and "Why is there only one queen in the hive?"

My next promotion was where some of the best potato chips are made in Pennsylvania- Berlin. I spoke to the 80 third grades, who recently finished learning about honey bees and pollination. I received a beautiful daffodil basket with maple syrup and potato chips made right down the road as a thank you.

I am slowly reaching my goals but I need your help still. Please be sure to like the "PENNSYLVANIA HONEY QUEEN PROGRAM" Facebook page to get up-to-date on my most recent promotions. If you have an event coming up that you would like me to attend please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or Thank you for all of your continued support.

PA Honey Queen Report (March 2012)
  by by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello everyone! This February with the warm weather and extra day, the month just seemed to "leap" right by. My days were spent preparing items for the next promotion by counting out honey sticks and coloring books, preparing my display board, and looking after my own bees by making fondant.

On February 4, I traveled to Soergals Orchard in Wexford, where Burgh Bees sponsored a Beginning Beekeeping Workshop. There were about 65 people in attendance that were all interested in starting their own hives. Workshops like this one are important for new beekeepers because it shows that other beekeepers are there to support anyone starting beekeeping. After the workshop was over, I assisted with answering questions about the parts of the hive.

Jessica with PA representative Jerry Stern

February 7th, I traveled to the State Capital Building, in Harrisburg, for the Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations annual Cornucopia, where I had the opportunity to meet nearly 150 different state senators and representatives. Events such as this are important because it reminds our state representatives and state senators how important beekeeping is to the ecosystem and agriculture industry. During this event I also met Gabrielle Elizabeth Murphy, 2012 PA State Dairy Princess, and Drew An Brubaker, 2012 PA Fair Queen, who, like me, also promote different aspects of agriculture to the public.

Jessica visits the Western PA Beekeeping Seminar

I traveled to the Four Points hotel in Mars, for the Western PA Beekeeping Seminar on February 18th. I gave a presentation to 325 people about the PA Honey Queen Program. I also talked about my goals for the year, which are to complete promotions in 30 different counties, increase our Facebook fans to more than 100 by the end of the year, and to find two young ladies to compete for the 2013 Honey Queen title.

One of my favorite parts of this promotion was having an opportunity to assist Mary Alice Gettings during the seminar "The Goodness of Honey," where she talked about different uses of honey, benefits of honey, and made some delicious dishes, all using honey. Between seminar sessions, I spent time at the queen program booth to help answer any questions, such as how I can be scheduled to attend events.

During the lunch break the Beaver Valley Beekeepers Association held a 50/50 drawing for the Honey Queen Program, raising just over $270. Thank you to the Beaver Valley Beekeepers for their support of the program.

The next day, I attended an Introduction to Beekeeping class in Phillipsburg, hosted by the 2 Cs and a Bee Association. I had the opportunity to speak about the different resources that beekeepers can use and my role as the Honey Queen. Thank you Ken Hoover, 2Cs and a Bee president, for donating some promotional items for me to use throughout the year.

Jessica talks to Bedford Elementary Students

Finishing out my February promotions, on the 23rd, I spent the day at Bedford Elementary School where I gave five presentations to 641 students in first through fifth grade. All the students were very excited to learn about honey bees and enjoyed quizzing me on different bee facts by asking questions. The great questions and attentiveness of these students made for a successful first school promotion.

As we start another month full of promotions, be sure to contact Rachel Bryson, 717-643-0010 or, to book your date. I am really enjoying my opportunity to be your Honey Queen and I look forward to traveling to your next event.

PA Honey Queen Report (February 2012)
  by Jessica Long - 2012 PA Honey Queen

Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Long and on November 11, 2011 during the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association's Convention, I was crowned your 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. After talking to Alyssa Fine and Teresa Bryson, both past PA and now American Honey Queens, I am looking forward to the experience of attending fairs, schools, civic meetings, and many other events this year to promote the beekeeping industry.

Jessica at PA Farm Show Learning Center

Even though my reign didn't officially begin until February 1st, I was given the opportunity to attend the 96th annual Pennsylvania State Farm Show in Harrisburg for five days. During my time at the Farm Show, I spent time working in the three PSBA's booths. I enjoyed selling honey from all around Pennsylvania in the Market Place and in the Food Court. Also in the Food Court, I helped sell and serve our famous honey waffles and honey ice cream. Even though I think it was the coldest place in the whole complex, everyone volunteering made it the warmest environment to be in. I really enjoyed showing the unmarked queen and talking about what was going on in one of the two beautiful observation hives that were located in the Learning Center. By Friday I had no voice at all from talking about honey, honeybees and why they are so important, but it was all worth it to have the opportunity to educate a large number of people in one week. During the slow times at the farm show I passed out honey recipe brochures and answered many different types of questions, including "What are the honeybees doing in the observation hive" to "How can I start beekeeping."

Jessica with Pat Toomey

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet with Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and although he was on a tight schedule, he made time to capture a quick photo with me. Thursday afternoon, the PSBA's daily honey extraction demonstration was televised on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). During the broadcast, I had the opportunity to introduce myself, invited the public to our three locations throughout the complex, explain the products of the hive, and help answer audience questions. Throughout the one hour live broadcast, we were able to increase the public reached during the Farm Show by an estimated 2 million people, which is the viewership of PCN.

Jessica's Home School Presentation

On January 25, I traveled to the Hollidaysburg Area Library for a local Home School group presentation on the different types of honeybees and beekeeping. There were 25 children and 15 adults at the presentation, who were all interested and excited to learn about beekeeping and the products of the hive. The children were interested in learning how the bees work inside of the hive while the parents were more interested in learning how honey can be used to sooth a sore throat instead of using medicines.

I am excited to begin my year as your Honey Queen and traveling the state to educate the public, but I need your help to make this year all that it can be. When you know of an event going on or have a school in your area that you would like me to speak at, please contact Rachel Bryson at 717-643-0010 or Please let her know as soon as you can so we can book the date for your event.

I look forward to representing an industry that we all care dearly about throughout the year and will bee seeing you!

From the Honey Queen (February 2012)
  by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen

Greetings, beekeepers! It is not without bittersweet emotion that I am writing this final article. It has been an incredible year, but now it has drawn to a close. I'd like to recount my final month as your 2011 Pennsylvania Honey Queen, and to thank you for the opportunity that you've given me to represent the beekeeping industry throughout Pennsylvania.

January is a special month for the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. At the Pennsylvania Farm Show, we are able to showcase honey bees for what they truly are - the backbone of agriculture in much of this state. I was fortunate enough to attend the Farm Show for four days this year. Along with 2011 American Honey Queen Teresa Bryson, I was present at Governor Tom Corbett's Reception on January 5th and I was able to spend time with all of the great folks who contribute to the Farm Show each year.

Farm Country Radio

2011 Queen Alyssa with 1966 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Judith Sitlinger

The following day, Queen Teresa and I judged apiary products alongside PSBA's own Lee Miller and Jim Thompson, who quite literally wrote the book on honey judging. Saturday morning, we presented a gift basket filled with honey and beeswax products to Secretary of Agriculture George Greig, on behalf of Governor Corbett. We then attended the Farm Show Opening Ceremonies and took part in the second annual Parade of Agriculture in the arena. I was fortunate enough to have a brief conversation with Governor Corbett behind the scenes of this event. I spent the rest of Saturday and most of the day Sunday walking the grounds and talking to people. On Sunday, I gave a 5 minute radio interview with Dave Williams of PA Farm Country Radio which has the potential to reach 1.5 million people in the mid-Atlantic region! I spent a lot of time in the three PSBA-sponsored booths throughout the complex, including the learning center where I answered questions about honey bees and beekeeping. New to the learning center this year was a large split fly cage to allow two observation hives to be attached. This cage was built for us by an Eagle Scout as a community service project. It really helped to draw a considerable crowd! On average, approximately 400,000 people find their way through the Farm Show during its 8-day run, so this is an incredibly large event, and one which can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people. Sometimes a few people in the crowd are more memorable than others. I had the pleasure of meeting 1966 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Judith Sitlinger. It's incredible to meet past Honey Queens and to hear how the program has grown and developed over the years.

On Tuesday, January 10th, I boarded a flight bound for Las Vegas, Nevada and the North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, hosted by the American Beekeeping Federation. Although there were many great seminars to attend and much to learn about the modern beekeeping industry, I was there for a slightly different reason - to compete for the American Honey Queen or Princess title!

American Honey Queen Candidates

Kids and Bees day

During the five-day event, I worked alongside five amazing young women as we each tried to best represent our home state and earn the much coveted national titles. The candidates included: Jayla Gillaspie representing Florida, Lacy Dooley representing Indiana, Lillian-Grace Misko representing Missouri, Kaylynn Mansker representing Texas, and Danielle Dale representing Wisconsin. Getting to know each of these young ladies was truly a wonderful experience. Not only did they have a busy year promoting the beekeeping and honey industries in their home states, but they also lead very active lives at home, and it was a pleasure to learn more about them. The Honey Queen competition itself consists of a 300 word essay on the general topic of honey; a three minute marketing presentation, this year on beeswax; and an interview with the panel of judges. Aside from these formal requirements, there are many activities throughout the week which help the judges determine the Queen and Princess. The Quiz Bowl is an event in which the candidates answer trivia about honey bees and beekeeping. This year, the format was modeled after the game Taboo, and aptly named "Tabee." The candidates were given a phrase and they were instructed to give clues to their teammates to help them guess the phrase. The catch? Each phrase was accompanied by 5 descriptive words which were "taboo," or not allowed to be used. Another great event was the annual Kids and Bees day. On Friday morning, more than 400 local school children and their parents came to the convention to learn about honey bees. Each candidate chose a station such as pollination, products of the hive, or even honey tasting, and the visitors went to each station to learn more about an aspect of beekeeping.

Throughout the week as I sold raffle tickets and was able to speak with many of the beekeepers, the overwhelming sentiment was, "I'd hate to have to be one of the judges this week." Certainly the panel of judges had a very difficult decision to make because only two of the candidates could be crowned.

I had been a ball of nerves the entire week, but on the evening of the coronation I was calm knowing that I had done my best to represent Pennsylvania, the final decision was already made, and it was out of my hands. We six candidates stood at the front of the banquet hall waiting for the results. Lillian-Grace Misko from Missouri was selected as the alternate in case anything was to happen to the Queen or Princess. Danielle Dale from Wisconsin was crowned 2012 American Honey Princess. And finally… From the state of… Pennsylvania… I was crowned as the 2012 American Honey Queen. All I could do was smile! What an honor!

I had such an incredible year as your Pennsylvania Honey Queen, and I'm looking forward to another exciting year representing the beekeeping industry throughout the United States! I just want to thank everyone at PSBA for supporting me along the way. Without your help, I would never have had the opportunity to reach so many people throughout Pennsylvania, and now beyond. Thanks are also due to the Chair of the Queen program, Rachel Bryson. She is a wonderful advisor, a mentor, and a friend. She has guided me on this journey and for that I'm forever grateful.

Even though most of my efforts will be concentrated throughout the United States, I am still available for promotions in Pennsylvania as well. If you'd like to schedule a visit from the 2012 American Honey Queen or Princess, please visit the American Beekeeping Federation website at and fill out the request form.

Keep in mind that next year's North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow will take place in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This is an amazing opportunity to attend a national convention, filled with excellent speakers and networking opportunities'. And if you'd like to learn more about the American Honey Queen Program, this is the event to attend.

I'd like to extend my best wishes to 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Jessica Long as she travels throughout the state promoting the beekeeping and honey industries. She's going to do a fabulous job representing the PSBA. If you'd like to schedule a visit from Queen Jessica, contact Rachel Bryson at or call (747) 643-0010.

From the Honey Queen (January 2012)
  by Alyssa Fine - 2011 PA Honey Queen

Greetings, beekeepers! December came and passed very quickly. The month was relatively quiet, save for a busy weekend of promotions.

I spent the first weekend of December in the Harrisburg area for training with 2012 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Jessica Long. During those two days, Rachel and Teresa Bryson and I covered the exhaustive official Honey Queen Training Manual, teaching Jessica everything she needs to know for her own travels in the upcoming year. Jessica learned how to dress, act, and speak like a queen while also practicing for presentations, speeches, and media interviews. Of course, we also had some fun learning to bake and give cooking demonstrations, as well. Those chocolate no-bake cookies were so yummy! I know Jessica is fully prepared to issue forth as our new Honey Queen, and I am quite anxious to see what she accomplishes this year. Be sure to see her in action at her first official promotion- the upcoming 2012 PA Farm Show!

Cooking demonstration at Maris Grove

The following day, December 4th, I traveled to Glen Mills to visit the Maris Grove senior living community. Thanks to John and Toni Kaufman, the community was hosting Honey Bee Day in celebration of its first full year of having managed hives on the property. The program for the day included a Nova film about honey bees as well as a presentation by New Jersey state bee inspector Tim Schuler, whom I was fortunate enough to meet and speak with about beekeeping and honey in New Jersey. I spoke to the audience of 150 people for an hour and answered the many questions which followed. Afterwards, I gave a quick cooking demonstration which was very well received. Everyone loved my honey vinaigrette dressing! Overall, it was a fantastic day at Maris Grove. Thank you again to John and Toni Kaufman and all the residents for their immense hospitality throughout the day. Hopefully this will not be the last Honey Bee Day in Glen Mills.

The rest of the month has been relatively slow. I have been spending my time learning details of the diseases of the hive and cramming national honey production statistics in preparation for the American Beekeeping Federation's annual convention to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada January 10th-14th, 2012. I am more anxious than nervous. Although I have picked Rachel's and Teresa's brains many times, I still am not fully sure of what to expect. But I will do my best to represent the state of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association, and hopefully I will make you all proud, no matter the outcome. If you would like to support me at this event, please consider purchasing a raffle ticket for a queen-sized quilt. The tickets are $5 and you do not have to be present to win. I will be at the PA Farm Show January 5th-8th, and I will be more than happy to provide you with a raffle ticket at that time.

We are on the verge of a New Year. I would like to take this time to wish you all health and happiness, both at home and in your hearts as well as in your hives. As we look forward to a new calendar year, there are a thousand different opportunities to invite 2012 PA Honey Queen Jessica Long to your next community event. Jessica is ready and willing to promote beekeeping and honey production throughout the state, so please make use of her that she may provide this service for us. Contact Rachel Bryson at or (717) 643-0010 today to invite Queen Jessica to your next event.

Thank you again, and I hope to see you at the 2012 PA Farm Show!

Current 'From the Honey Queen' article and detailed contact information available on our Honey Queen Program page.

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