I hope everyone is enjoying the autumn season, even though it doesn t really feel like summer left! While the autumn season brings Halloween, leaves changing color, and pumpkin picking, it is sad to see tank top weather and swimming season disappear. With the seasons changing and sweater weather coming, we can say goodbye to the drones who are going to be kicked out soon and hello to a less active honey bee hive.
To update you all on my events, I finished off August with two fair visits since the last newsletter. On August 26, I visited the West End Fair to set up an information table. At my stand I did crafts with the kids, and answered a variety of bee and beekeeping questions. While at the fair I proudly displayed a picture of my bee beard from the summer picnic. Fair goers who walked past my table often took a double take in order to see my photo. The most asked question of course was Did you get stung? I enjoyed educating everyone on my bee beard, making sure to point out the gentleness of honey bees.
Queen Kayla talking with kids at the observation hive at the Big Knob Grange Fair.
On August 31, I attend the Big Knob Grange Fair. While there I worked with the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association. I answered questions about the variety of honey and beeswax products for sale, handed out honey sticks to kids, and talked with the attendees who looked at the observation hive.
I started off September by visiting the grand opening of the Pittsburgh Honey store, helping to talk to customers about the observation hive. The next day, September 2, I attended the Great Allentown Fair. I started off the day by helping with the first annual Princess Parade. Along with the Allentown Fair Queen, Miss Western Pennsylvania United States Agriculture, and Miss Lancaster County United States Agriculture, I led a group of young girls dressed up as princesses around the fairgrounds. Afterwards, I stood by the apiary department, passing out recipe brochures, and talking to visitors about the variety of entries in honey, beeswax, and observation hives. I ended the day at the Allentown Fair by helping to judge the mother/daughter, father/son look-alike contest and handing out their winners prizes!
Queen Kayla displays the effectiveness of pollination shown by the amount of apple seeds.
On Sunday September 10, I visited the Jewish Federation of Reading for a presentation on honey bees and pollination. In Jewish culture, the new year Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated by eating apples and honey in order to have a sweet new year. To the group I talked about how honey is made and the importance of honey bees for pollination, especially for apples. I demonstrated the effectiveness of bee pollination on apples by cutting two apples in half to reveal the star of seeds; one perfect apple, from the grocery store, showed complete pollination with its 10 seeds, the second apple, from my backyard, revealed very little pollination as only one seed was found.
On September 16, I attended the Organic Apple Festival at Rodale Institute. There I did a bee magnet craft with over 100 kids and talked with hundreds of parents about honey bees. For this event I brought out my bee beard picture, which helped to draw the attention of almost 1,000 additional visitors to my table!
To start a three day streak of events, I attended the Oley Valley Community Fair on September 21. Oley Fair s theme this year was Oley Fair is the place to bee! With everything bee themed, my visit was very appropriate! I set up a display in their agriculture building to talk with visitors about honey bees. Afterwards, I helped to hand out ribbons to the winners of the children s pedal tractor contests, and stopped by the Oley Valley Community Library to promote their bee themed literature!
The following day, September 22, I attended the Gratz Fair. I started off my visit by setting up a display of educational items of bees and beekeeping, inside their agriculture building. Next I helped the Dauphin County Farm Bureau with their pollination table. I helped run a bee finding game and educating visitors on the importance of pollinators, before stopping by the honey extraction demonstration.
On September 23, I attended a Honey Festival in Pottstown. There I talked with visitors about bee biology, beekeeping, and did crafts with the children. It was awesome to attend a festival dedicated to everything honey! My most recent event was on September 25, at the Boone Area Library. For their preschool story time, I read two bee themed books and helped them with their bee crafts.
I can t believe I only have one more event this month and then it will be October! October will unfortunately be the last full month of my reign, but I hope it will be jam packed with events! If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com.
I hope everyone s summer is winding down nicely! Since my last update, I have had an extra busy few weeks. I finished off July by being a judge for the Schuylkill County Fair s royalty contest on July 30 and 31. While at the fair on the 31, I participated in a jolly rancher pop tart taste testing interview for WNEP 16 and I was then interviewed about my position as Honey Queen. On August 1st I was at the Schuylkill County Fair again for Children s Day, where I made bee magnets with the hundreds of kids in attendance and was interviewed by BRC TV Channel 13 about my experience at the fair.
From the fair, I headed to Newark, Delaware for the Eastern Apiculture Society s conference at the University of Delaware from August 1-5. While at EAS I helped at the t-shirt sales table, the meal ticket table, helped to show items at the live auction, attended informative sessions, and met beekeepers from across the country and even New Zealand! Following EAS I continued my streak of events and went back to the Schuylkill County Fair to help out at the observation hive.
In all I did 7 straight days of Honey Queen events! The following week I was at the Reading Fair. On August 9, I participated in the fair s Children s Day by doing bee magnet crafts with the many visiting families. On August 11, I returned to the fair to judge their livestock mardi-gras contest.
From August 15-17 I attended Ag Progress Days. Even though we couldn t have our honey ice cream stand, I still was able to educate the public on honey bees. The Penn State Pollinator tent graciously allowed me to join them. Visitors to the tent were welcome to make a bee magnet as well as check out the observation hive. While at Ag Progress Days, I met with several other PA commodity titleholders and was able to talk with hundreds of people about the importance of honey bees.
Only a couple days after Ag Progress Days, I went to the Kutztown Fair for their Children s Day. Before their kid s raffle drawing I gave a talk to over 200 people about everything honey and honey bees. Afterward I gave honey sticks out to the kids in attendance, which ended up being almost 100!
Queen Kayla working at the Harford Fair
Queen Kayla working at the Harford Fair
Most recently I helped out at the Susquehanna County Beekeepers Association s Honey Hut at the Harford Fair on August 25. There I helped answer questions about their various honey products for sale, handed out stickers to the kids, talked to the visitors about the observation hive, and my favorite part, helped with their live hive demonstrations.
For their 2pm and 5pm shows I gave a live talk on the hive inside of a screened in booth. I explained beekeeping tools, parts of the hive, and pulled out frames of honey, bees, and brood to show the dozens of people in attendance at each show. For both demos I braved the bees and opted for no veil, jacket, or gloves. It was so great to see the fascination of those young and old as I held a frame, containing hundreds of bees, bare handed. At the 5pm show we had so many people coming up to see the bees and hear about why I wasn t getting stung, that I ended up standing in the booth for over an hour pulling out various frames to show them the interworking of a colony of honey bees!
August isn t over yet, and neither are my upcoming events! I have a few more fairs to visit in August and more in September. There is still time to request me for an event! If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well it truly is spring! The bees are buzzing and the weather is beautiful. Those April showers brought May flowers and the bees are surely thankful.
This month I traveled to Philadelphia for the Fox Chase Farm s Farm to Table Day on May 20. All throughout the farm, visitors were able to experience different parts of a farm. At my booth, visitors got to see beekeeping tools and roll their own beeswax candles. Attendees of all ages loved learning that bees make the wax and the great role bees have in our lives. My table was very popular not only with the children but also the adults.
For those that follow the Honey Queen Facebook page, you may have seen the bee related projects I taught. On May 13 I graduated from Kutztown University with a B.S. in Art Education. The last 3 months before graduation I was student teaching, which allowed me to write and teach my own art projects. Of course I had to teach bee related lessons!
During her time as a student teacher, Queen Kayla educated more than 500 students about honey bees, using art.
I taught almost 500 elementary students about honey bees, at my last placement, Northwestern Lehigh Elementary School. In the kindergarten, first grade, and second grades, the students learned about bee biology and the roles of each bee in a hive by drawing and painting a honey bee. There were mixed reactions when I informed the students that the drones don t have stingers, and everyone was in awe when they found out bees have 5 eyes.
For my third and fourth grade classes the students learned about pollination and the workings of a hive. The students learned how to make coils out of clay as they constructed a clay skep. Lastly, my fifth graders learned about the importance of honey bees and how they can help them. The students made clay bee baths and learned about how life would be without bees. These bee baths were included in the school s annual art show and the students walked away excited to place their bath outside for the bees to drink from.
I had so much fun educating my students on the importance of honey bees. I can t wait for my upcoming events. If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at email@example.com.
Happy New Year! My name is Kayla Fusselman and I m honored to be serving as your 2017 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. What better way to start off the year than with a week at the Pennsylvania Farm Show! Starting Friday night, I attended the PA Preferred Reception, where I met many commodity queens, local politicians and the Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding. With the official start of Farm Show the next day, I participated in the opening ceremonies and helped with the ribbon cutting. The rest of the week I worked the waffle and ice cream stand, market booth, and the learning center, helped at the honey extractions, and attended the Public Officials luncheon.
At the waffle and ice cream stand, I helped take orders, sell honey products and of course sampled the sweet treats! While working the market booth I assisted customers with their honey purchases and answered questions about the different flavors and uses of honey and other hive products. At the learning center, I was able to talk to school groups, families and others who walked by our observation hives, about the workings of a bee hive.
A highlight of the Farm Show for me was helping with the honey extractions. I was able to introduce myself to the audience, promote our different stands at the Farm Show, assist in explaining the parts of a bee hive, and I tried honey comb for the first time!
This month has been very educational, as every day I worked Farm Show I learned more and more about beekeeping and our great honey products across the state. I wasn t the only one becoming more informed, because every day I talked to hundreds of visitors about honey bee biology, the benefits of honey and how everyone can help honey bees in their own backyards.
My first busy month as the 2017 Pennsylvania Honey Queen was fantastic. I am so thankful to have this opportunity to represent the PSBA. Thank you to all the beekeepers and volunteers who helped to make the Farm Show a truly fun and unforgettable week.
If you would like to invite me to your event, please contact Rachel Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-300-0146.
Current 'From the Honey Queen' article and detailed contact information available on our Honey Queen Program page.