by Nicole Pettibon
I am happy to say that I am now a freshman at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa! My wonderful family all drove me up here, and we made it safe and sound. Emmaus is a very small college with only 250 students; it is perfect for me because I get to know everyone! I am having a wonderful time. I have made many fantastic new friends. Nevertheless, I can hardly wait to come back to Texas for the cooking-with-honey demos at the Texas State Fair! I hope to see many of you there on the 1st and 2nd of October. It is a great opportunity to work at the honey booth and promote Texas beekeeping and honey (not to mention - you have so much fun!).
On the 27th of July, I was able to go to the public library in southeast Dallas (almost to Kaufman County) for their Annual Honey Bee Day. Shirley Acevedo and I talked to a small group of very curious people who wanted to know everything that was going on in the observation hive we had brought. The children’s librarian laid out an abundance of books on honey bees, a number of which I had not seen before. It was a nice one-on-one time with the visitors.
In anticipation of the American Beekeeping Federation Conference in Orlando this coming January, I had the opportunity to talk to former queens: Texas Honey Queen/American Honey Queen, Esther Wright Davis and Texas Honey Queen/American Honey Princess, Sara Paulson Landry. I was able to get a lot of my questions answered and get some tips about the ABF Convention. I am very grateful for their time and advice. They were so helpful.
I was so happy to be able to visit the Trinity Valley Beekeepers on the 5th of August for their monthly meeting. We listened to Janet Rowe, otherwise known as “The Bee Charmer”, as she gave main points on legally selling honey. I did not realize how much is involved with making labels, building a honey house and extracting honey according to state standards. It was a fantastic program and I was able to meet more Texas beekeepers - one of my favorite things to do!
The Collin County Hobby Beekeepers had their annual honey and photo contest on the 10th of August! This is something I look forward to every year. We had 59 honey entries and about 140 photo entries. The contest was definitely a big hit this year! Congratulations to the winners of the contests! I was able to judge the honey with Allison Adams (CCHBA Honey Queen), Kaylynn Mansker (CCHBA Honey Princess) and CCHBA member, Brad Bradfield. We had a blast discussing the many different flavors, colors and smells of so many different types of honey. I was very impressed at how well so many people did with their jars of honey this year. Great job, Y’all!
Coming up even faster than imaginable is the amazing Annual Texas Beekeepers Association Convention in Tyler, Texas! This is a fantastic weekend full of fun, learning and fellowship. Very qualified, professional speakers will be present to teach so many different classes for every level of keeping bees. Come and watch the Queens’ Quiz Bowl - full of laughter and excitement as the American Honey Queen, Texas Honey Queen and local queens and princesses from all over Texas participate in this competitive event. Attend the auctions - full of more honey-bee-related items than you have ever seen in one place at one time. You will want to come back again and again. I hope to see you there.
The Convention will be the end of my “reign” as your Texas Honey Queen. I want to thank you for this amazing year. I knew it would be absolutely great, but it is even better than I imagined. We have impacted thousands of people this year. That many more people are now aware of the honey bee and the beekeeping industry, thanks to you. Thank you to all of my hosts who welcomed me with open arms. I enjoyed every minute of my time spent with you. Thank you to my parents and family: for supporting me throughout the year, for letting me travel over weekends and talking to me at nights on the phone. I love you guys so much. Thank you, Shirley, for an amazing year. You are always right on top of everything. You make sure all of my needs are taken care of every minute of every day I am “on duty.” You have become a wonderful friend and I love you so much! And thanks especially to all of you for supporting me for this year. I cannot even begin to tell you how honored I am to have represented you all. Beekeepers are such wonderful people!
See you all in Tyler in November!
Nicole Pettibon, 2009 Texas Honey Queen