2020 American Honey Princess Sydnie Paulsrud recently visited Berks County as part of her four-day visit to Pennsylvania to reach a variety of audiences to educate them on honey, honey bees and beekeepers.
“I love to share my love for the honey bees with people and watch how excited they become after a presentation, when they learn how honey bees amplify agriculture through pollination,” said Paulsrud, 20, from Chippewa Falls, Wis., who previously studied childcare services in college and works for DHL-Fleet Farm Distribution Center. “I also love meeting new beekeepers around different regions of the United States.”
As the 2020 American Honey Princess, Paulsrud serves as a national spokesperson on behalf of the American Beekeeping Federation, a trade organization representing beekeepers and honey producers throughout the United States. The American Honey Queen and Princess speak and promote in venues nationwide.
Paulsrud visited Pennsylvania Oct. 12 to 15, making appearances to speak to youth and adult groups about how honey bees amplify agriculture through pollination, as well as about how honey varieties dazzle multiple senses.
During her stay in Berks County, she spoke at Kutztown Middle School, Leesport Farmers Market and Jacob’s Church.
“It's very beautiful here! It reminds me of Wisconsin, where I'm from, but more mountains and hills,” said Paulsrud. “The honey bees here sure have a beautiful home.”
While the Honey Princess was in Pennsylvania, 2018 American Honey Queen Kayla Fusselman, of Kempton, 4-H Program Assistant at Lehigh County Ag Center, served as Paulsrud’s host, arranging and driving her to all of her events in Berks, Carbon, and Lehigh counties.
“I think she really liked Berks County and the surrounding area,” said Fusselman. “The fall leaves changing were definitely perfect for her visit so she could see the true beauty of the farming and mountainous landscape. She tried some PA Dutch food and seemed to be a fan.”
After two years of educating the public as the 2017 PA Honey Queen and then the 2018 American Honey Queen, Fusselman started her own bee hives, becoming an official beekeeper this spring.
“Honey bees are a key component of agriculture. They pollinate 1/3 of everything we eat. Without them the quantity and quality of our fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes would not be where they are now,” said Fusselman.
At Kutztown Middle School, Paulsrud gave a presentation at an outdoor assembly held on the bank facing the soccer field behind the building. Students could also view the presentation virtually.
“Sydnie visiting KMS was to educate the youth on the importance of honey bees, the vital role beekeepers have, and the many uses of honey,” said Fusselman. “I hope the students gained a respect for honey bees and the importance beekeepers have. I hope they left the presentation having a better understanding of pollination, agriculture and how it affects their daily lives, and what they can do to help save the bees.”
“I hope they can take away how important our honey bees are and to not be afraid of them,” said Paulsrud. “If they can take an interest in honey bees now, they'll be prepared in the future to show others why agriculture or honey bees are important, too.”
Also, Paulsrud visited Leesport Farmers Market working with local beekeepers from Americana Apiary Farm. There she handed out recipe brochures and educated on the uses of honey.
Paulsrud also visited Jacob’s Church in New Tripoli talking to a small group about all things honey, honey bees and beekeeping with a honey tasting experience. While there, she presented to Jacob’s Church Little Lambs preschool with an interactive talk about bees and beekeeping.
When Paulsrud was not busy presenting as the princess, Fusselman took her to Hershey World to do the chocolate factory tour and make your own chocolate bar experience. They visited Cabela’s, went to Deitsch Eck for a good PA Dutch dinner, and toured Crystal Cave.
“It has been a great experience hosting Sydnie,” said Fusselman. “I had so many great hosts when I traveled as the 2018 American Honey Queen that I knew what to do to make her stay worth the trip and reach as many members of the community as possible. I look forward to hosting future American queens and princess and reaching more of the community with the events I will arrange for them.”
The Honey Princess also shared a recipe using honey.
“I love the honey poppyseed scones I made the other day.”
For Scones: 1 cup - sour cream 1/2 cup - honey 2 tsp. - grated lemon zest 2 cups - all-purpose flour 2 T - poppy seed 1 tsp. - baking powder 1/2 tsp. - baking soda 1/2 tsp. - salt For Topping: 1 T - cream 1 T - honey 2 T - raw sugar
In medium bowl, combine sour cream, honey, and lemon zest; mix well.
In large bowl, combine flour, poppy seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add honey mixture; stir just until moistened.
Shape dough into 9-inch circle (approx. 5/8 inch thick). Cut into 8 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart.
Bake at 375°F 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix together 1 T of cream and 1 T of honey and brush the tops of the scones. Sprinkle the raw sugar evenly over the scones.