November As we move into the holiday season, it's a great time to consider all the amazing gifts in life we can be thankful for. When thinking about those gifts, be sure to not overlook our amazing, buzzing friends--the honeybees! Think of all the wonderful foods on our table that we wouldn’t have without honeybee pollination. What would Thanksgiving dinner be without cranberry sauce? There are many other ways we can include honey in our cooking as well this season. Click here to see our Pineapple Honey Glazed Ham and Honey Hot Cocoa. This is also the time of year we pull the cozy sweaters, hats and mittens out of storage. Many of our winter clothes are made from wool or cotton. Cotton needs to be pollinated by honeybees, and the food that sheep eat needs to be pollinated as well. It sure would be chilly not having all those warm winter clothes! Honeybees affect every person’s life, every day. They are most certainly something that we need to be thankful for and are a true gift! October Part II
As the days get colder, my travels have started to slow down. My first trip after Montana was to Wyoming where I presented at several schools. I talked all about how honey is extracted and the different forms of honey. Have you ever tried cream honey? It is crystalized honey that has been whipped into something that looks like butter. It is really yummy! Next, I traveled to Wisconsin where I have been talking to MANY students at Racine area schools, inviting them to the Wisconsin Honey Producers Convention. At the convention, there in an event called “Kids and Bees” where kids can learn about beekeeping, look at honeybees under microscopes and even try different kinds of honey produced in Wisconsin! I will also be talking about this event on the radio and to area civic groups. If your county or state fair has a bee booth, you can do many of the same things we are doing at "Kids and Bees." While in Wisconsin, I will also be helping crown the next Wisconsin Honey Queen. My next trip will take me into a different country--Canada! Did you know that there are beekeepers in almost every country in the world?
Here are some hives from Montana!
October Part I
At the Fryeburg Fair Oxen are a common site walking
around the grounds!
The leaves are changing, and the smell of apple cider is in the air! It’s finally fall, and I have been busy as ever with everything from fairs to pumpkin patches. My first trip of the fall was to Fryeburg, ME where I attended the Fryeburg Fair. It was a great fair that exhibited many agricultural products and gave me many chances to address the fair-goers on how important honeybees are to them. I was also able to go speak at an apple orchard where they had the BEST apple cider I’ve ever tasted! Apples are one of the main crops pollinated in Maine. My next trip brought me to down to Baltimore, MD where I attended the Oregon Ridge Nature Center annual Honey Harvest Festival. I gave open hive demonstrations and showed people how to extract honey. Kids were even allowed to eat some of the wax caps we cut off the honey. Did you know you can eat beeswax? It’s very good for your digestive system, and it can be chewed just like bubble gum! My next stop was Kennewick, WA where I gave school presentations and attended a pumpkin patch at Bill’s Berry Farm. I spoke to more than 2,000 students in local area schools. As an ending to my very busy week, I got to visit Bill’s Berry Farm and help sell honey. Kids could pick their own pumpkins, press their own cider and taste honey. I am currently in Montana attending the Northern International Livestock Exposition. I'll be giving 24 presentations per day and kids will learn about everything from bees to beef!
September Part II
Demonstrating honey extraction on Channel 15!
The leaves are changing, honey is being extracted and I'm still busy as ever! I have been to two more wonderful states and experienced many more honeybee adventures! My first stop was to Iowa where I attended a local farmers market and the Plagman Farm Show. At the farmers market, we had live bees to show all the shoppers and several recipes to demonstrate how they could use honey. At Plagman Farm, I worked with the Iowa Honey Queen, Hannah Van Wyk. Together, we taught kids about the history of beekeeping and the important role honeybees have played throughout time. Did you know that people in ancient Rome used honey to treat wounds on soldiers? Honeybees are originally from Europe and were brought to the United State on boats in the 1600’s. My time at Plagman Farm really gave me the opportunity to spread some very interesting history! I had the privilege of working with Emily Brown, 1997 American Honey Queen, while promoting in Scottsdale, Arizona. While I was there, I spent time at Butterfly Wonderland in the “bee room” giving out honey samples and talking about the honeybee exhibit. Also in Arizona, I gave cooking demonstrations at the Maricopa County Home Show. Visitors were really interested that I was using honey produced right in Scottsdale, and I learned a lot about urban beekeeping. It's been a great National Honey Month!
Cotton is a crop produced in Kansas
and is pollinated by honeybees!
September Part I
Hello from Kansas! As the school year gets into full swing,
so does my busy schedule. My September started with a trip to Lithopolis, Ohio
where I attended the Lithopolis Honey Festival. At the festival, there was a
large variety of local art and honey-based foods for sale. Kids could make
crafts and even ride a bee train! While I was in Ohio, I also did several
school presentations and radio interviews. One of my favorite parts about Ohio
was describing my bee beard on television! The TV broadcaster was amazed that
no one got stung. Honeybees are very gentle and only use their stinger as a
defense mechanism. While I was in Ohio, I also had a great opportunity to cook
with honey using a special variety of honey called black locust honey. It is a
light color and very delicious! Next, I traveled to the Kansas State Fair where
I answered questions at an observation hive and sold honey. In Kansas, there is
a company that makes an energy drink with honey as the main ingredient! It was
a big hit at the state fair and gave me a huge boost when I got tired. Also at
the fair, I did a sampling of a variety of foods cooked with honey! We made
yummy honey chicken stir fry, honey jalepeno cheese dip, apple peanut salad,
and several more recipes! They were a big hit, and many people came over to the
Kansas Honey Producer's booth to buy honey afterwards. Now I am in Holton,
Kansas giving school presentations at local schools and teaching students about
the critical role honeybees play in agriculture. Stay tuned to see if I'm
coming to your area soon!
This is the bee beard I demonstrated in
August Part II
While most of you are busy going back to school I have been
quite the busy bee flying around! My first trip was to Gainesville Florida
where I was invited to celebrate National Honeybee Awareness Day. This trip was
very exciting, because I got to wear my very first bee beard! It was a great
way to show how gentle honeybees are. I had almost 10,000 bees on my chest and
face and didn’t get stung once! National Honeybee Awareness Day was a huge
success, and many people learned how important honeybees are! My next trip was
to West Virginia for the West Virginia Honey Festival. While I was there I got
to work with the West Virginia Honey Festival Princess. She helped me give
interviews on the radio and on tv! While I was there I also got to teach some
very unique audiences about honeybees. I got to speak at a mansion from the
1700’s about how beekeeping has changed since then! Did you know that honeybees
have not always been in the United States? They were brought over from Europe
in the 1600’s. Honey was so valuable back then that it was even used to buy
things! If you go even further back in time bees wax was used to fix peoples
teeth! Honeybees have quite the history to them! My next stop was the Minnesota
State Fair where I had many jobs to do. I gave out samples of honey, gave
cooking demonstrations, and even opened up a live beehive to show people how it
works. At the Minnesota State Fair they also serve some wonderful honey
sunflower ice cream and honey nut fudge ice cream! There are many ways you can
use honey with cooking, especially during the hot summer months! Find some
great recipes for honey raspberry slushes here!
August Part I
These are 2 honey producers from Wisconsin that helped
sell honey and make sure everything ran smoothly!
My first trip this month was to Wisconsin for the Wisconsin State Fair! One of the things I did was help people try nine different varieties of Wisconsin honey. One of the most popular honeys made in Wisconsin is cranberry honey. Other important crops in Wisconsin are cucumbers, cherries and pumpkins. I also got to do on-stage cooking demonstrations where I made honey fudge sauce that tastes GREAT on ice cream! Did you know that honeybees are important for ice cream? Dairy cows eat feedstuffs like clover and alfalfa, which are pollinated by honeybees. Next time you're eating your favorite ice cream treat, remember to thank honeybees! After the Wisconsin State Fair, I flew to Pennsylvania for the Eastern Apiculture Society meeting where beekeepers get together to learn about what is happening around the world with bees and how we can help them. There were even beekeepers there from New Zealand! Did you know there are things you can do to help honeybees? Planting local flowers in your garden or buying honey from local beekeepers are two ideas. You can even become a beekeeper yourself! To learn more about becoming a beekeeper, find a local beekeeping group in your area. They would love to help you start your journey to becoming a beekeeper.
July Part II
Now that summer is officially half over it's time for another update! In New Jersey, I attended the Warren County Farmers Fair. I got to put my salesman skills to the test by helping the Northwestern New Jersey Beekeepers sell honey at their fair booth! We sold wildflower and clover honey. Those are both very common varieties of honey, but did you know there are over 3,000 different varieties of honey from around the world? Each type of honey is made from the nectar of a different flower or tree! Did you know it takes honeybees about 2 million visits to flowers to produce one pound of honey? That is a lot of work! Other common types of honey from New Jersey are basswood, blueberry, cranberry and alfalfa. Also, while I was at the farmers fair, I gave hive demonstrations where I showed people what a real hive looks like and what is going on inside of that hive! Did you know that there are about 60,000 bees in a hive in the middle of summer?! Can you imagine having 60,000 brothers and sisters? I was also able to judge the honey competition at the Warren County Fair. There are many things to consider when judging honey like the color, how clear it is and how full the jar is! This week I will be at the Wisconsin State Fair promoting honey, talking with fair-goers about honeybees and giving cooking demonstrations! What do you like to cook with honey?
July Part I
I got to describe the parts
of a bee with a balloon animal
bee, made by a very friendly clown!
Summer is officially half over, and my travels are just about to heat up! I was able to attend some great events in July so far. My first event for the month was the Aitkin County Fair, where I gave cooking demonstrations. It was hot and humid at the fair, so we made a variety of honey iced tea. You can find the recipe here. Next, I headed to Walker, Minnesota where I attended the Minnesota Honey Producers Convention. This was a wonderful event where I got to speak to many of the beekeepers from Minnesota. Did you know there are more than 211,000 beekeepers in the United States alone! I also go to learn about many of the new scientific finds about honeybees. Sadly, scientists predict that we lose about 1/3 of our bee population every year. There are many people working to try to find out why this is happening. Honey bees are important to every single one of us, because they pollinate over 100 different types of food. My last event for the first half of July was an hour long interview on KKIN radio station. The station allowed people to call in and ask questions about honeybees, and I would answer the questions on air. It was a great hour and many people told me they learned a lot about honeybees in just a few minutes of listening! If you have any questions for Queen Caroline or I, go to our questions page and we can answer them for you! June Adventures!
Raspberries are a delicious summer food, and also
a good source of pollen and nectar for bees!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far! I have had a nice summer as well. Especially now that fairs and festivals are starting! My first June promotion was to my home beekeepers group, the North Central Minnesota Beekeepers Association. This is where I got my start in beekeeping and as a Honey Queen! They helped me learn everything I know about bees. If you have any interest in bees, a local beekeeping group is a great place to learn if it is the right hobby for you. Did you know there are over 211,000 beekeepers in the United States? That is a lot of beekeepers!
This month I also spoke at the Aitkin County 4-H council meeting. I did a cooking demonstration and made a raspberry honey slush! You can find the recipe here! It tastes delicious on these hot summer days. What is neat about this recipe is that every ingredient needs pollination! Did you know that honey bees pollinate over 100 different crops. This drink was a huge hit with kids and adults alike!
Kids could answer question off of the poster board to
earn a honey stick!
Lastly, I attended the Cascade Meadows Pollinator Celebration in Rochester, MN. There were over 400 people there to learn about pollinators! I was able to teach kids about how important honeybees are to us. Kids won a honey stick if they answered one of my questions about honeybees. Do you know that there are about 60,000 worker bees in a hive in the middle of summer time? Can you imagine having 60,000 sisters!? It will take 12 of those worker bees their entire lifetime to produce one teaspoon of honey! Next time you eat honey, think about all the work that got put into just one jar.
Hooray for May!
Happy Spring! While the bees are out and about collecting pollen and nectar, I have also been busy going to all sorts of interesting events! Before summer vacation came into full swing, I was able to give school presentations all over Minnesota and North Dakota. Did you know that North Dakota produces the most honey in the United States? Minnesota is the 5th highest honey
You can see the tiny sheets
of wax on this bee's abdomen
producer! There are over 300 different types of honey produced in the United States. Each one comes from a different type of flower. Right now, the bees are collecting pollen and nectar from many dandelions and fruit trees, like apple trees. This is also the time of year when bees need to start producing lots of wax. Honeybees produce wax by eating as much honey as they can and then hanging in long strands called festoons. After 24 hours, they start to make little tiny sheets of wax that come off of glands on their abdomen. Then the honeybees take each sheet of wax and chew it in their mouth until they have enough to start shaping it into their honeycomb! It will take about 400,000 of those little sheets to make one pound of wax! That’s a lot of work!
These are the Commissioners from Aitkin, MN!
During my time in Minnesota, I have been doing a lot of work with local government. I was able to speak at the Aitkin City Council Meeting and the Aitkin County Board Meeting. It is important to tell local government about how important honeybees are because they can do a lot of things to help honeybees. Did you know there are lots of things you can do to help the honeybees as well? A fun and easy thing to do is to plant a garden! Not only will the honeybees have things to eat, but you will have pretty flowers and fresh vegetables to eat! You can also buy local honey. There are LOTS of wonderful recipes on our recipe page that you can make with your family and friends. Lastly, you could become a beekeeper! There are many beekeeping clubs and organizations that love to help new beekeepers get started. Look for a local beekeeping club in your area and attend a meeting to see if beekeeping is right for your family!
At the Minnesota FFA Convention there were over
1,000 students in attendance!
In Washington they have tulip festivals. Bees pollinate
most kinds of flowers. What's your favorite flower?
What a winter up here in Northern Minnesota! Thankfully, spring has finally arrived, and the bees are finding lots of pollen and nectar! Did you know that when a bee is collecting pollen, they will only collect it from one type of flower at a time? So if they start collecting pollen from a dandelion, they will only collect from dandelions until they go back to the hive and drop off their pollen. This month I got to experience spring early when I took a trip to Washington state to teach about bees at the Puyallup Spring Fair! There were lots of people and many of them had questions about bees. Did you know that all the boy bees in the hive are called drone bees? Drone bees don’t have a stinger, so all their sisters have to protect them. While I was in Washington, I was on the radio to talk about how important bees are to flowers. Did you know it takes a worker bee about 2 million trips to flowers to produce 1 pound of honey? No wonder we have the phrase “busy as a bee”! After I got back from Washington, I gave four school presentations to local area schools in Minnesota. Many of the kids I talked to came from farming families and knew bees are very important! There are over 100 food crops pollinated by honeybees! Last weekend, I traveled to Minneapolis, MN to present at the Minnesota State FFA convention. It was the perfect place to teach about bees, and I even met a few members that were already beekeepers. Some of them were even urban beekeepers. That means they keep bees inside the city! Did you know they even keep bees on top of buildings in New York City? It is becoming very popular in many states! Hopefully this April snow brings some more May flowers for the bees! March Madness: Bee Style!
Did you know that worker bees are covered with tiny
hairs? Those hairs help the bees collect pollen!
Although it has been a rather cold spring, March was still a very busy month for me! I was able to go to go to three different states. First, I flew to Kentucky, where I spent a week promoting at schools and businesses. Did you know that some people in Kentucky feed their racehorses pollen? Pollen is high in protein, which is very good for muscles and makes the horses stronger and faster. Bees also eat the pollen to stay strong and healthy. And she needs it! A worker bee can flap her wings 11,000 times per second.
This month, I also went to Minneapolis, MN with Queen Caroline to learn about beekeeping in cold weather. We attended a class at the University of Minnesota taught by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter. I learned so many interesting things! Did you know that in the wintertime, bees form a ball around the queen, shiver and eat honey. Because the bees are moving all the time, they produce a lot of heat. Even in the middle of winter when it can be below zero outside, bees keep the hive at 92 degrees Fahrenheit!
This is Ron Fruit from WRCO Radio. Speaking of fruit
did you know that all fruits require bee pollination?
My last trip in March was to Richland Center, WI where I spoke to a gardening group about how important bees are to their gardens. Bees pollinate more than 100 different foods that we eat. Without bees, there would even be a shortage of milk and ice cream! Bees pollinate the foods cows eat. If they didn’t have those foods, the cows couldn’t produce enough milk for us to use. While I was in Wisconsin, I also had an interview on the radio where I talked about how vital bees are to everyone. Consider the clothes you're wearing. Bees pollinate cotton plants, and if we didn’t have cotton, we wouldn’t have a lot of the clothes we wear. School shopping would be pretty boring without honeybees! I have many more trips coming up so stay tuned for more updates.
Holy smokers! February has already flown by! I have been flying around to a few different promotions over the last few weeks. School has been keeping me very busy, but I had the wonderful opportunity to do four days of promotions in the Fords, New Jersey area. My week started out by going on honey deliveries to grocery stores with one of New Jersey’s largest commercial beekeepers. It was very interesting to see all the behind the scenes work that goes into putting honey on grocery store shelves.
The next day, I visited Woodbridge High School to present to their cooking and science classes. I made the honey apple sauce recipe that can be found in our 2013 recipe brochure. It was a big hit! Apples are a very important crop that honeybees pollinate in New Jersey. As honey bees gather pollen and nectar, they pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, melons, blueberries, cherries and almonds. Did you know that one-third of all crops in our country need honeybee pollination?
This was my booth at the Wegman's Grocery Store. We were located right by the floral section. Bees pollinate all sorts of flowers! Do you have a favorite type of flower?
Beeswax candles are great because they have a high melting temperature so they burn for a long time. They also burn "clean" so they dont put any bad things in the air! Plus they smell great!
My January Travels My January Travels
Practicing school presentations. In part of our school we talk about the jobs beekeepers perform.
In this classroom we discussed the importance of Pollination. Did you know bee pollination contributes to almost 1/3 of our food supply!
My name is Emily Campbell. As the 2013 American Honey Princess from Minnesota, I travel all across the country to teach students, 4-H groups, and many other groups about the importance of honeybees and pollination in our everyday lives. I also attend many different events such as fairs, festivals, and farmers markets, and have interviews with tv, radio, and newspapers. To find out if the American Honey Queen or Princess can visit your school or community, please visit the American Beekeeping Federation website. On this page, I'll post about my travels as I "buzz across america!"
I was able to talk to people about the importance of pollination and hand out sample of locally produced honey at a Wegman’s Grocery store in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Along with liquid honey, customers were able to try creamed honey. To make creamed honey, beekeepers whip their honey into fine crystals to get it smooth and creamy. Creamed honey is great on toast because it doesn’t run off!
The next day, I presented on the importance of the American Honey Queen program at the New Jersey Beekeepers Winter meeting. All the beekeepers I met were extremely nice, and I felt so welcomed at their meeting. One of the things I learned about was the many uses of beeswax. Did you know beeswax is a humectant? This means that it holds in moisture, so beeswax is often put in lotions, lip balms, and soap to make your skin nice and soft. I have several trips coming up, so please check back to learn more about Queen Caroline’s and my travels.
My first promotion as the 2013 American Honey Princess was to Wisconsin for training on how to be a great spokesperson for beekeepers across the country. Throughout the week, Queen Caroline and I practiced just about everything! We started the week rehearsing our school presentations, and we spent one entire day training for radio and television interviews. In the evenings, we prepared each one of the recipes in our cooking brochure. I must say each one of them was very delicious!There are over 300 varieties of honey nationwide that can be used in a variety of recipes. For some great recipes for cooking with honey, make sure to check out our recipe tabor head to honey.com!
The final two days of our trip, we had the opportunity to speak to students at three local schools. Our audiences were great and had wonderful questions.I've been keeping bees for 2years, and I think it's so rewarding to teach young people about honeybees, beekeeping and the importance of pollination. Each bee in the hive (the queen, worker, and drone), has a special job. The queen lays the eggs, the drone mates with the queen, and the workers do all the other tasks that need to be done in and out of the hive.But the most important job of the honeybee is pollination. Did you know that one-third of our diet is dependent on insect pollination, including honeybees? The direct value of honeybee pollination annually to U.S. agriculture is $14.6 billion! Wow!