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FT. MYERS, FL -- For the
first time since 1997, the Florida State Beekeepers
Association has crowned a Florida Honey Queen.
The Beekeepers Association of
Southwest Florida (BASF) crowned Jayla Gillaspie, 17, as
their Honey Queen for 2010. At the 90th Annual Convention for
Florida State Beekeepers Association (FSBA), she was crowned
Florida Honey Queen for the year 2011.
The Honey Queen Program, begun in the 1930's, is an
ambassadorship of sorts. Traditionally, young ladies are
crowned by local beekeeper associations and hold their post
for one year. At the end of that time period, they compete at
the annual convention of the FSBA for the State Honey Queen
position. After one year as the State Honey Queen, she
attends the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) conference
and competes with other states Queens.
The Honey Queen program is a knowledge contest, not a beauty
contest. These young ladies, ranging in age from 17 to 24, are
usually beekeepers or have grown up on an apiary, assisting
their parents or other relatives with the bees. In the case of
the Florida Honey Queen, Jayla, she is a beekeeper who
maintains her own hives and even sells her honey locally.
Jayla has been a beekeeper for more than five years.
Queen Jayla will travel throughout the State of Florida over
the next year lecturing and giving cooking demonstrations
using honey recipes. She is available to schools, scout
groups, religious groups and other local bee associations.
Queen Jayla will be available for media interviews as well.
To arrange for a visit by Queen Jayla or for more information
please contact Beth Fox at (407) 702-2853 or via email at
View list of
former Honey Queens
Jayla received the
FSBA Woman Beekeeper of the Year Award for 2011 at this
Jayla is also serving as the FSBA Hoeny Queen for 2012.