A sweet opportunity

Jaycox to compete for title in Texas

—Submitted photo Maia Jaycox, of Webster City, is pictured above with Connie Bronnenberg, middle, and Carly Vannoy, right. Jaycox will be competing for the American Honey Queen or Honey Princes title this week in Galveston, TX. Jaycox served as the 2016 Iowa Honey Queen.

Webster City graduate Maia Jaycox will be competing for the American Honey Queen or Honey Princess Title this week in Galveston, TX. The competition, in association with the American Beekeeping Federation, begins today and lasts through Saturday evening.

“I will be in Texas for six days. I have to interact with different people, sell raffle tickets, and then give a small skit about migratory bee keeping,” Jaycox said. “Migratory beekeeping is when a coordinator will take bees from Iowa and drive to California with them. This will help pollinate the almond trees out there.”

If Jaycox wins, she will continue to educate the public on the importance of bees as well as promote the beekeeping industry.

“I just thought this would be a good learning experience and a good way to meet new people,” said Jaycox.

Jaycox, 19, is the daughter of Scott and Juli Jaycox of Webster City. She developed an interest in beekeeping after her parents started keeping bees.

Jaycox currently attends Iowa State University in Ames with an undeclared major. She is involved in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at ISU.

Jaycox was crowned the 2016 Iowa Honey Queen at the Iowa Honey Producer Association annual meeting.

As the 2016 Iowa Honey Queen, Jaycox served as a spokesperson on behalf of the Iowa Honey Producers Association, an organization representing beekeepers and honey producers throughout Iowa. During her year long reign she promoted and spoke in venues statewide about the importance of honeybees and how honeybees are the connection between plants and our plates. She also shared information about the many uses for honey. She promoted the honey industry at county fairs, farmers markets, festivals, radio interviews, the state fair and schools.

“I’m passionate about beekeeping because many species of bees are an endangered species and people need to know more about them,” Jaycox said.

According to the American Beekeeping Federation, honeybees are responsible for nearly one-third of our entire diet, in regards to the pollination services that they provide for a large majority of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. This amounts to nearly $15 billion per year of direct value from honeybee pollination to United States agriculture.