October was my last full month of being your 2018 Pennsylvania Honey Queen!
Queen Hannah at the State Grange Convention
Crafting with Queen Hannah at the State Grange Convention
This month, I attended the South West State Session of the PA Grange. During my weekend visit to the convention, I had the opportunity to talk to them about the importance of honey bees and beekeeping. There were many children in attendance, and I worked with them to make a honey bee craft while we talked about bees.
I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by! I am still in the process of getting all my totals together, but I have gone to over 50 events and reached over a million people. I feel that I have accomplished so much this year, and I am so excited and thankful to have had this opportunity.
I hope to see you all at the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association convention in State College on November 2nd, and 3rd. I will be displaying my scrapbook and giving my final presentation as Pennsylvania Honey Queen, and I look forward to telling you all about the wonderful year I ve had.
At the convention, we will be selecting our 2019 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. To begin arranging a visit, please contact Alyssa Fine at (412) 266-2112 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Butler fair milking contest
This month, I had a total of sixteen events all across the state! I attended five fairs where I set up my table with educational display materials, honey recipe brochures, and often honey sticks and a beeswax candle rolling craft. I had a great time at them all. I started the month off by going to the Big Butler Fair. It was here that I participated in a celebrity milking contest. Did you know that honey bees pollinate clover and alfalfa, major food crops for dairy cattle? Unfortunately, I came in last place with only two squirts of milk. I decided that I will just stick to beekeeping.
Jacktown fair parade car
At the Jacktown Fair, I was invited to join the parade, and rode in a honey bee yellow car from the 1930 s. It's been a few years since a Honey Queen has visited Greene County, the most southwestern county, so it was a great opportunity to reach out to the fair goers there at my booth and work toward my goal of visiting as many counties as possible.
During Agriculture At Its Best day at the Troy Fair, not only did I have my own giant tent for my display and craft, but I was also able to meet the Peterson Farm Brothers who were performing at the fair. You may recognize them from their parody farming music videos online. Hey, at the end of the day, "I'm farming and I grow it" applies to beekeepers, too! Later that day, I was able to give a radio interview, and was featured in a local newspaper article, as well.
Hannah's first bee beard
In addition to fairs, I also went to three beekeeping club picnics. At the PSBA Summer Picnic, I was thrilled to finally be able to do a bee beard alongside the American Honey Queen Kayla Fusselman. I had over 15,000 bees on my face and I didn t get stung! Honey bees are so gentle. Thank you to the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association and Burgh Bees for inviting me to attend your picnics, too! It was nice to socialize with beekeepers and chat about my travels so far.
Bee craft at Immanuel Preschool
My other events were mainly spent with different groups giving educational presentations. I had a great time with a preschool group, and after my presentation we made an adorable bee craft to take home. I also attended a local honey tasting event and a farmers market with my mentor Jim Fitzroy and Michelle Wright. We had a great time talking with customers about the benefits of local honey and knowing your beekeeper!
After a presentation with a 4-H group and a visit to a local retirement home, I did two cooking demos and made a delicious honey fruit roll up. I was able to make the groups understand that we wouldn t be able to make many delicious foods if it weren't for the honey bees pollinating the fruit and other ingredients.
This year is just buzzing by! I am having such a great time. I have had the opportunity to reach so many people and educate them. At the same time, I have learned so much myself. I look forward to what the rest of the year holds!
Between my classes and promotional events, my fall schedule is filling up fast. If you would like to invite me to your upcoming event, please contact Alyssa Fine as soon as possible so we can find room on the calendar! She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-266-2112.
Queen Hanna marking a Queen
I had the great opportunity this month to help finish off the school year with some school presentations. I was able to work with some local beekeepers and bring an observation hive. The kids loved finding the queen! I even got to head back to my old elementary school for a presentation.
I had a few events during National Pollinator Week, which took place June 18th - 24th. I worked with a Girl Scout camp so they could earn their bug badge. After my presentation, they tried honeys from different nectar sources. For lunch, we made hot dogs over the open fire with a honey BBQ sauce, and then enjoyed some homemade honey granola. Yummy!
Queen Hanna on the Good Day PA show talking about the importance of honey bees and making fruit salad with honey dressing
I celebrated my birthday on air with Good Day PA, which broadcasts in Harrisburg. I chatted with the host about the importance of honey bees before making a fruit salad with honey dressing. I also brought an observation hive, so the studio was really abuzz with excitement! (A big thank you to Gary Carns and Nate Weber of the Capital Area Beekeepers Association for bringing the hive!) If you missed the segment, don't worry - you can check it out on the Pennsylvania Honey Queen Facebook page.
Queen Hannah with the American Honey Queen,
Queen Hanna helping a young perspective beekeeper learn about honey bees at the Easton Farmers Market June Bee Jamboree
Queen Hannah at the Easton Jamboree Tea Party
I finished off the month at the Easton Farmers Market June Bee Jamboree, a festival with a honey theme. I was joined by Kayla Fusselman, last year's PA Honey Queen and this year's American Honey Queen. Together we made rolled beeswax candles with the kids, read a story to the them during a tea party, and even led a parade.
Be sure to follow my travels this year on the Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program Facebook page. In addition to posting photos and updates from the road, I've also been uploading videos from my own hive inspections. I just shared my experience of marking my very first queen bee!
I have a few more events this month, but there is still plenty of room on my summer schedule. If you'd like to invite me to your next event, please contact Alyssa Fine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-266-2112. I hope to see you all next month at the state picnic!
During the first half of this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Ireland with my Penn State class. In addition to touring the beautiful country, I was able to talk with a few beekeepers in the area. It seems that beekeeping practices are very similar from what we do here and they do there. They have honey judging competitions, extract at the same time, and transport bees the same way. They also still struggle a lot with the varroa mite. It was overall such an amazing learning experience.
Queen Hannah's Swarm
As soon as I got back from Ireland, I was sad to find that my hive had swarmed while I was gone- not once, but twice!
Queen Hannah at Stewartstown Elementary school
Toward the end of the month, I had several events. At one of the schools they had just finished up a long section on why pollinators were important and what they could do to help. Then they were able to plant a pollinator garden. It was amazing to see how much these students had learned about honey bees, and they asked some really good questions. One of the students was really concerned about pesticides and herbicides that gardeners use, how that might affect the honey bees, and if it adds any chemicals to the honey.
Queen Hannah at Dutch Gold Honey
Queen Hannah with Jill Clark, vice president of sales and marketing at Dutch Gold Honey. (She's also a former Pennsylvania Honey Queen and American Honey Princess.)
After a school presentation in Lancaster, I was able to spend the afternoon at Dutch Gold Honey, and it was amazing to see how everything worked. I even got my insider tour from a former honey queen. Thanks, Jill! There were so many different varieties of honey, with many from all over the world. There they bottle it and label it to the standards the consumer wants; color or flower source. I was even able to bring home a few unique varieties for a sampling kit on the road.
I then had a two day event where students went around to different classrooms and learned about science topics. I was able to talk to the students outside near the greenhouse. There were lots of wasps and yellow jackets out there, but the students kept mistakenly calling them honey bees. I was able to teach the students the difference between honeys bees and other wasp species. They were shocked when I told them there are around 25,000 bee species.
If you would like to invite me to your upcoming event, please contact Alyssa Fine at email@example.com or 412-266-2112.
Queen Hannah at PSATS
April was a very eventful month for the Pennsylvania Honey Queen!
Queen Hannah at St. Joan of Arc School
I attended the first ever Pennsylvania Miss United States Agriculture state pageant. I was able to see who was crowned and also gave a short introduction to who I was and what I do. I used my introduction time to throw in some fun facts about how important honey bees are for agriculture. Maybe I inspired some of the contestants to think about competing for the Pennsylvania Honey Queen and Princess titles in the future! The following week, I gave two presentations at the St. Joan of Arc School in Hershey. I was able to talk to students from preK-8th grade.
I had an eventful weekend April 20th - 22nd. I started off at an event with a preschool group. I read them a story book about beekeeping and then we planted a pot of wildflowers to set outside for the honey bees. Some of them tried honey sticks for the first time and they all loved the flavor of the honey. The next day I went to an eco-fest event. I was able to sit down with students as they made rolled beeswax candles. While they made them, I asked them questions about honey bees and taught them a few things. I finished up the weekend on Earth Day at the PSATS 96th annual conference where I was able to talk to many different township supervisors about beekeeping and the pollinator protection plan.
Next month, I will be taking a brief break from promotions to focus on my finals, then I will be traveling to Ireland with other Penn State students as part of a class I took. I am very excited for my trip, but I also can't wait to come back refreshed and ready to go. I look forward to this summer and all the promotional events I'll attend.
If you would like to invite me to your upcoming event, please contact Alyssa Fine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-266-2112.
It is finally Spring! It s so exciting to have the bees starting leave the hive on some of these warmer days. Hopefully none of you lost a lot of your hives over the winter.
This month I had a few events scheduled with school groups and a girl scout troop. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, and they were all postponed due to heavy snow.
Queen Hannah at the Penn Satee Bee Club
Beeswax Candle at Penn State Bee Club
Although I didn t have any official events this month, I did have the opportunity to attend a Penn State beekeeping club event. We made beeswax candles! This was my first time making anything with beeswax, and it was a lot of fun melting the wax and adding the different essential oils. I would definitely recommend it for a fun craft at home.
I'm looking forward to next month as I have several events planned. Let's cross our fingers that hopefully there will be no more snow!
My spring schedule is filing up quickly! If you would like to invite me to your upcoming event, please contact Alyssa Fine at email@example.com or 412-266-2112.
This month I had my very first school presentation! It was with 130 first grade students. They recently had a lesson on insects and I was very impressed with how much they knew coming into the presentation. I enjoyed teaching them some new fun facts. For example, they were really surprised that honeybees have five eyes. They even taught me a few things! I never thought there was an actual reason that honeybees had six legs, but one of the students taught me that the extra legs help them take off and fly when carrying a lot of nectar and pollen. It was overall a great experience and I can t wait to do many more school presentations.
Queen Hannah attends Beekeeping 101 class
I also took the Beekeeping 101 class with the Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association. I learned a lot of great information that I didn t know! There was a master beekeeper there who covered a lot of bee biology. My dad and I also ordered our hive to get in our backyard. I can t wait to get the hive started this Spring.
Queen Hannah speaks at the Western PA Seminar
The last event I attended was the Western Beekeeping Seminar. I was able to give an introduction about myself to all of the beekeepers there. I also attended some very interesting breakout sessions like cooking with honey and even a flow hive Skype call with one of the inventors from Australia. My favorite was the swarm catching breakout because it talked a lot about sustainable beekeeping. My college minor is in sustainability, so I really enjoy those types of topics. I met a lot of beekeepers from the western side of the state, which is where I am from. It was interesting to find out how many hives are nearby my home that I never even knew were there!
I am really enjoying the classes I am taking this semester. So far one of my favorites is soil nutrient management class. Spring Break is coming up soon. I look forward to my events I have planned over the break. My spring schedule is filing up quickly! If you would like to invite me to your upcoming event, please contact Alyssa Fine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-266-2112.
Current 'From the Honey Queen' article and detailed contact information available on our Honey Queen Program page.