Gabrielle Hemesath talks bees as the 2014 Iowa Honey Queen - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gabrielle Hemesath talks bees as the 2014 Iowa Honey Queen

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TRIPOLI (KWWL) - Gabrielle Hemesath loves talking about bees and beekeeping, and it's not just because she's the 2014 Iowa Honey Queen.

KWWL caught up with her in Tripoli during a presentation at the Bremer County Extension Office.

Hemesath was crowned in November and hopes to use her reign to spread a message about the importance of bees.

"The bees are having a lot of problems because of habitat loss and starvation and pesticides and all kinds of things people are doing without realizing the consequences -- and, actually, just the pollination done by bees is worth $15 billion to the U.S. a year," said Gabrielle Hemesath.

About five years ago, she started working at Fassbinder Apiaries in Elgin. She also has two hives of her own.

Part of her goal as Iowa Honey Queen is to encourage more people to become hobbyist beekeepers.

"Anyone in a community with a beehive will help," Hemesath said. "People's gardens will grow better, crops will do better. It works out a lot for everyone."

Hemesath also shared the health benefits of eating honey.

"It has really good sugars for you. It's not the sugars your body doesn't know what to do with. It'll keep giving you energy," she said. "Also, it can help you get better sleep, because it gives your brain something to be fueled on. So take a little honey before bed and your REM cycle will be more effective."

The North Fayette Valley senior expects to be very busy this summer.

Besides presentations and parades, she'll be at the Iowa State Fair showing people how easy it is to bake with honey.

"If you use it in breads and cookies, it'll keep them moist longer because honey retains moisture," she said.

The teenager hopes her reign as Iowa Honey Queen inspires other to appreciate the role bees play in our lives.

Hemesath is part of the Iowa Honey Producers Association and the Central Iowa Beekeepers Association.

After her reign as Iowa Honey Queen, she plans to compete for the title of American Honey Queen. That week-long competition is in Florida in December.
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