Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association

Going Strong Since 1904

PA Honey Queen Report (September 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Hi everyone,

September has been an exciting month full of fairs and festivals. I started off the month at the Big Knob Grange Fair. Here, I enjoyed meeting and catching up with beekeepers, and talking about bees with people attending the fair. My favorite part of the fair was standing in front of the observation hive answering questions about bees. It was very rewarding to see others getting excited to learn something new about honey bees and beekeeping.

Gratz Fair

Honey Festival

Towards the end of the month, I attended the Gratz Fair and a Honey Festival in Pottstown, PA. At the Gratz Fair, I had the pleasure of helping local beekeepers in their on-stage honey extraction demonstration. Those in attendance asked great questions while the children enjoyed using the extractor. At the Honey Festival the following day, children made honey bee headbands and learned about why bees are important to them.

Great Insect Fair

Great Insect Fair

This month, I also attended the Great Insect Fair at Penn State. I have had an interest in insects since I could walk, but I did not know what an entomologist was until I attended the Great Insect Fair when I was eight years old. Since that day, I have made it my life goal to become an entomologist; so, being at the Great Insect Fair this year was exciting because I now had the potential to inspire a child in the way that I was 12 years ago.

While my reign as Pennsylvania Honey Queen is quickly coming to an end, there is still time to invite me to your event. If you would like me to attend your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146.

PA Honey Queen Report (August 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Hello all!

August was a great month as I traveled the state as the Honey Queen. This month, I started off in Potter County. Here, I visited the Potter County Fair, where I enjoyed talking to the community about honey bees and getting people excited about beekeeping. After Potter County, I then visited a rotary club in McKean County. The club was very interested in learning about honey bees and asked great questions on how they could become beekeepers.

Look at our brave Honey Queen! Sarah participated in her first bee beard during the PSBA summer picnic.

On August 6, I attended the PSBA Summer Picnic where I enjoyed catching up with beekeepers from around the state and meeting new beekeepers. This event was also very exciting for me because I got to do my first bee beard. This was a wonderful experience and I am ready to do another bee beard!

Queen Sarah visited the Birdsboro Rotary Club and spoke to them about the many jobs honey bees have.

The following week, I attended the Birdsboro Rotary Club meeting, close to where I grew up in Berks County. Attending this meeting was very special to me because I spoke to them about honey bees nearly three years ago as a senior in high school. Speaking to this club back then inspired me to want to teach others about honey bees and made me more comfortable speaking in front of large groups. Having this experience made it very exciting to speak to the club again and see what they remembered about honey bees from the last time I visited.

Queen Sarah worked with local beekeepers during the Butler Farm Show.

Queen Sarah and Cathy Vorisek meeting with Russel Reading, PA Secretary of Agriculture, during Ag Progress Days.

Queen Sarah met Miss America when attending Ag Progress Days in State College.

Another little princess at Ag Progress

The rest of the month of August was spent at fairs and festivals, such as the Butler Farm Show, Ag Progress Days, and the Hookstown Fair. I enjoyed these events because it was rewarding to see people interested in what I had to say about honey bees and beekeeping. At Ag Progress Days in State College, I even had the honor to meet Miss America and another little princess.

I hope that I can attend your event in the future. If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146.

PA Honey Queen Report (May/June 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Insert article here: Cut article from queen pg, (not including heading), paste here, fix article date

Hello all!

Bear Creek Festival with Schuylkill County Fair Princess

Bear Creek Festival

The past several months have been filled with many promotions. Looking back to May, my travels began at the Bear Creek Festival. This festival was geared towards teaching children about the environment. At my stand, I talked about honey bees and beekeeping.

Rolling Ridge Elementary

Wilson School District

The rest of May was filled with school visits. The first visit was with Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Erie, PA. Here, I talked to all of the second graders. The kids were very interested and excited to make bee head bands at the end of the presentation. The next week, I visited two elementary schools in the Wilson School District near Reading, PA. Between these two schools, I spoke to kindergarteners, first graders and third graders. This was my first time presenting to children as young as kindergarteners, but I was happy to see how interested they were in learning about the honey bee.

Third Grade Tour at Twin Valley High School

Pollination Relay Race at Third Grade Tour

Rounding out May, I had spent two days at my own high school for the FFA program s Third Grade Tour. Third Grade Tour is a two-day event in which all the third graders in the district come to the high school to learn about agriculture. This year, the theme was plants, so I was asked to attend the event and run a workshop on pollination.

June was another busy month for me and the Honey Queen Program. I started off the month at Octarara High School in Chester County for their annual OABEST Expo, which showcases student accomplishments and provides an agricultural outreach opportunity for the community. At this event, I spoke to community members about why honey bees are important to us and had the opportunity to speak with PA Secretary of Ag., Russell Redding.

A few weeks later, I attended the Bee Happy Pollinator Festival at Tait Farm in Centre Hall. This event was focused around pollination and the insects that pollinate. Through this event, those attending gained a better understanding of how pollination occurs and its importance to our food supply. Two days later, I gave two presentations to 4-H students at their Ag Science Day Camp. The students were enthusiastic when learning about honey bees and asked great questions.

Towards the end of June, I traveled to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie, PA for their annual celebration of Pollinator Week. Here, I worked with Charlie and Cathy Vorisek to educate the public on honey bees and beekeeping. We held children's activities for local groups and I spent time by the observation hive answering questions.

I then traveled to Monaca for Sen. Elder Vogel's Kids Extravaganza. This was a fantastic event held at the Community College of Beaver County. I shared a table with local beekeeper Jim Hoffman. The kids really enjoyed the observation hive and the search to find the queen.

Honey Queen speaks at Craighead House.

To end June, I spoke at the Craighead House in Boiling Springs, Pa. The purpose of the Craighead House is to promote environmental awareness. I spoke to the group at the meeting were all very interested and eager to learn. They spent an hour asking questions.

During the month of July, I had the amazing opportunity to travel throughout many countries in Europe with my relatives.

The rest of the summer is already packed full of events and I m looking forward to seeing what the fall has to bring. If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146.

PA Honey Queen Report (April 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Hello all!

Queen Sarah and Vince Aloyo at the state capital for Cornucopia.

April was yet another busy month as I traveled as the honey queen. This month, I attended five events throughout the state. I started off at the Garden Club Federation of PA Annual Conference at the Nittany Lion Inn. At this event, I worked with Steve Finke, PSBA 2nd Vice President, to promote the industry and honey products. I also had the chance to introduce myself and interact with the Garden Club members attending the conference. The next day I traveled to Harrisburg to attend Cornucopia, where I had the privilege to work with PSBA members and interact with members of the PA House and Senate. After these two events, my week was not over as I was back in State College the next day attending Ag Day at Penn State. Through Ag Day, I interacted with my peers to teach them about honey bees and beekeeping.

Queen Sarah at the PSBA booth for the PSATS conference.

Queen Sarah making a fun craft with youth at Eco Fest.

Over the next two weeks, I then attended two more events. The first was the PSATS Conference in Hershey. Here, I worked with PSBA members to educate township supervisors from around the state on beekeeping zoning ordinances. The second event was Eco Fest at Mifflin Park Elementary School. Through this event, I talked to students attending with their parents about why they think honey bees are important to them.

As my spring semester comes to a close at Penn State, I thought I would give a recap on everything I have done this semester as the 2016 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. Throughout the semester, I have attended 14 events and have reached over 4 million people. In addition, I have participated in four media interviews, visited seven counties and have given 12 elementary school presentations. At the beginning of my year, I set goals to attend at least 50 events, give at least 20 school presentations and visit at least 15 counties. After my first six months, I am well on my way to achieving these goals and look forward to what this summer will bring!

Have an event you would like me to attend? Contact Rachel Bryson at or (717) 300-0146.

PA Honey Queen Report (March 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Hello all!

March was a very exiting month for my travels as the Honey Queen. I had my first school visits during my spring break. During this week, I visited four elementary schools: Robeson Elementary, Willow Lane Elementary, Mount Nittany Elementary and Corl Street Elementary. Between these schools, I gave 12 presentations and spoke to more than 450 elementary students from first through third grade.

Queen Sarah visiting elementary school

Queen Sarah at elementary school

Queen Sarah visited many elementary schools during her spring break, reaching more than 450 students.

To start off these presentations, I visited my own elementary school, Robeson Elementary in Berks County. This was a great experience talking to all the first, second and third graders about honey bees and beekeepers. They all had great questions and were eager to learn more. It was also good to visit with the teachers I had when I went to school there.

Later that day, I visited Willow Lane Elementary School where I spoke to five classes of second graders. Like the previous school, they were all very enthusiastic about learning about honey bees. When I arrived at the second classroom at Willow Lane, I was about to start my presentation when a girl in the front raised her hand and proceeded to tell me that I had lost a jewel from my crown. So, she walked up to me to give me the jewel but it was a chunk of road salt. A few weeks after visiting Willow Lane, I received a heartwarming video from the students of one the classes I visited telling me everything they had learned about honey bees that day. To see this video, check out the PA Honey Queen Program Facebook page.

Queen Sarah and her display at the Chester County Beekeepers Association Annual Beekeeping Conference.

To end my school presentations for the week, I visited Mount Nittany Elementary School and Corl Street Elementary School, both in State College. Many of these classes knew that I was coming for a few days and were all ready when I arrived to ask questions. After four wonderful school visits, I ended the week at the Chester County Beekeepers Association Annual Beekeeping Conference. This was a great experience to network and speak with beekeeper. During the conference, I attended a few talks on urban beekeeping, resource hives, and local bees and queens.

I hope to attend many events in the future. If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146.

PA Honey Queen Report (February 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Hello all!

Western Pa. Beekeeping Seminar

This month, I attended the Western Pa. Beekeeping Seminar. I had a wonderful day at the seminar and got to introduce myself and my role as the Pennsylvania Honey Queen to the crowd. Following my introductions, I was then able to attend two seminars. The first seminar was about the relationships between farmers and beekeepers, focusing on their relationships in Mississippi farming. For the second seminar, I attended a cooking demonstration where I learned how to make charred jalapeno-honey butter. I also got to taste a few other recipes like pumpkin honey bread and roasted root vegetables with honey and herb glaze. It was delicious! For the rest of the day, I interacted with vendors and guests attending the seminar. Overall, this was a great experience.

I hope to attend many events in the future. If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146.

PA Honey Queen Report (January 2016)
  by Sarah McTish - 2016 PA Honey Queen

Hello all!

I am excited to introduce myself as your 2016 Pennsylvania Honey Queen! I am a junior at Penn State main campus studying agricultural sciences with minors in entomology, plant pathology and leadership development. My love for honey bees began in my sophomore year of high school when I started my first two hives. These hives did not survive their first winter; however, I decided to try again, so I just started two more hives this past summer on my aunt and uncle s farm in Centre County.

Queen Sarah had the opportunity to meet Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf during the PA Farm Show.

My first two months as Honey Queen were busy with Honey Queen Boot Camp and the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show was January 8 to 16 and I was able to represent the PSBA as many events. On Friday, January 8 I had the opportunity to attend the PA Preferred Reception. At this reception, I was honored to meet Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. I then spent the rest of the evening networking with many people involved with agriculture throughout the state. After the banquet, the Ag Advocates from Penn State invited me to meet the mounted unit of the police force. Overall, it was an amazing night.

Queen Sarah educated members of the public at the PSBA s Learning Center during the PA Farm Show.

The following morning, I met up with the other commodity queens to participate in the opening ceremonies, which was followed by a meet and greet with the PA Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding. Following this, I had the opportunity to meet four Pennsylvania Congressmen after their discussion on current issues in agriculture. Finally, I ended my day educating the public about beekeeping and the importance of honey bees at the PSBA s learning center.

Queen Sarah, PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding and PSBA members after one of the extraction demonstrations at the PA Farm Show.

Queen Sarah speaking to the crowd before one of the honey extraction demonstration at the Farm Show.

Sunday was another very busy day at the Farm Show. The day began for me with the first honey extraction demonstration on the Culinary Connection Stage. During the demonstration I introduce myself to the crowd and explained what the Honey Queen does for the PSBA and Pennsylvania s beekeepers. Following the demonstration, I was approached by PCN to conduct a television interview. During this interview, I spoke about my role and the importance of bees. This interview reached approximately 3 million people in Pennsylvania! After this interview, I was then interviewed by Dave Williams of American Farm Country Radio, reaching approximately 2 million more people!

My media interviews did not end there though. Monday morning I participated in an interview with WEEU radio, broadcasting to about 300,000 people in Berks County. During this interview, I spoke about the importance of honey bees and pollination. I then spent the rest of the week between the honey ice cream stand, the learning center and the market place, talking to the public about honey bees, pollination and beekeeping. Thank you to everyone who made Farm Show such a wonderful experience.

I m very excited to represent the PSBA throughout this year and I hope I am able to attend your event. To schedule as appearance from me, please contact Rachel Bryson at or 717-300-0146.

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

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