Today is a beautiful day! My bees are busy and I just came in the house from checking on them... So far, they have all successfully survived the winter and they are getting ready to rock and roll! Even though we have several more weeks to go, I'm eager to put the supers on right now.
After the TBA Convention in Plano this past November, I had the opportunity to go to the East Texas Beekeepers Christmas Banquet with John & Lavada Talbert and Blake Shook on December 4th. We met
at a restaurant called Traditions in Tyler, TX, and had such a good time meeting fellow beekeepers and making new friends. I hope to make it back to visit with the East Texas Beekeepers again soon.
On December 8th, I attended the annual Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association Christmas Banquet. The new Collin County Honey Queen, Allison Adams, was crowned, and she crowned the new
Collin County Honey Princess, Kaylynn Mansker. We had great food and fellowship, as well as, a fun-filled Quiz Bowl with the nineteen 2008 CCHBA scholarship recipients. The 2009 scholarship recipients were announced as well, making seven new recipients this year. I could tell that they were excited! The evening concluded with the ever-popular fund-raising auction.
On January 7th, I went with Allison Adams and Kaylynn Mansker to a media training session. We met at Sarah Kornfield's (2005 American Honey Queen) home where she taught us how to communicate with people about honey bees in any given situation - whether on TV, radio, at a school or at a convention. What a great opportunity it was to work on speaking skills with an expert!
Every year, Texas beekeepers donate about 300 lbs of honey to the TBA State Fair Booth which is then given to the Happy Hills Children's Academy located in Granbury, Texas. Rachael Seida (2008 American Honey Queen), Kaylynn Mansker (2009 CCHBA Honey Princess) and I joined the Seida and Mansker families on January 9th to deliver the honey. We had the opportunity of meeting the founder of the Academy, Mr. Shipman. He gave us an excellent tour of the Farm to see first-hand how they help kids in need. The children live in family units at the Academy, are able to go to school on campus, play sports and have some experience of farm life. We even talked about the possibility of their keeping honey bees. Happy Hills Farm is definitely an impressive place, and I had a memorable experience. I hope some of you can join us when we return in the fall with your 2009 donated honey.
The ABF Convention in Reno, Nevada, from January 13-17, was an absolute blast! I was able to go with Shirley Acevedo, the Texas Honey Queen Chairperson, and we had so much fun attending many, many sessions on all sorts of topics about honey bees. These included the latest updates on CCD, how to make your own beeswax candles, bee sting therapy, queen rearing, building an effective honey house and so much more. There were all kinds of activities going on, and all kinds of opportunities to meet beekeepers from around the U.S and a few foreign countries. The 2009 American Honey Queen is Diane Jurchen from Iowa, and the 2009 American Honey Princess is Allison Hull from Minnesota. Congratulations Girls! Thank you all so much for giving me the opportunity to go!
I look forward to seeing you here in Texas during 2009! And I hope to see you all in Orlando, Florida, for the next ABF Convention January 12-16, 2010!
Have a wonderful month!
Nicole Pettibon, 2009 Texas Honey Queen