Photos from the Field: American Honey Princess

by | Jan 10, 2011

Former Ag Commissioner Jim Graham is visited by American Honey Princess and N.C. native Sheila Sasser in Jan. 1980.

In 1980, the first commercial honey processor in the state began operation in Winston-Salem. Around 200 barrels were processed in the first year, opening an untapped market for local beekeepers’ honey. In the same year, Sheila Sasser, became the first and only American Honey Princess from North Carolina.

Honey and honey bees may not seem like a relevant topic as snow and winter weather blanket the state, but winter is an important time for N.C. beekeepers. During the winter, they maintain hives, provide a steady food supply and ensure the health of colonies for the spring and summer growing seasons. More than a third of the food we eat must be pollinated by honey bees, and hobby and commercial beekeepers are essential in making sure there are enough bees to accomplish this task. To find out more about beekeeping in North Carolina, go to