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American Honey Queen Speaks to Girl Scouts at Fern Hollow

Alyssa Fine explains to the Glen Oaks Girl Scouts what all the buzz is about over honeybees. The discussion took place at the nature center in Sewickley Heights.

There are 20,000 kinds of bees and honeybees are just one of them, Alyssa Fine told a group of Glen Oaks Girl Scouts Tuesday evening.

That was just one of many interesting tidbits about bees the 2012 American Honey Queen offered the fourth grade scouts during a presentation at Fern Hollow Nature Center about bees.

Fine also explained that a queen bee lays 2,000 to 3,000 eggs per day and that most reach adulthood. She said 30 percent of honeybees on average die each year.

“So many things impact them,” Fine said.

In her tiara and white sash, Fine discussed the importance of bees and beekeeping with the help of enlarged photos, a stuffed Bee Movie character, and props like yellow bee wax and honeycomb. The Girl Scouts also posed questions.

"Why do they put the honey in a bear?" one asked.

Fine of Monongahela, PA explained that putting honey in bear-shaped bottles originated in Pennsylvania, and she explained other tools involved in the trade, like beekeeper suits and honey frames. 

“We're not trying to push people into beekeeping, but we like to raise awareness,” Fine said.

Being crowned the 2012 American Honey Queen also means taking on the role as honeybee ambassador. That involves buzzing across the country to various states to speak to troops, schools and civic groups. So far Fine has been to 23 states, not including a trip last month to Quebec, Canada. Today, she’ll head to Illinois.

A Penn State graduate with a degree in Agribusiness management, Fine grew up with an appreciation for her father’s beekeeping hobby, an interest that she and her family transformed into the Fine Family Apiary. She is instrumental in developing beeswax and honey products.

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