Thinking of entering a show? Elizabeth Frost, the NSW DPI’s Honey Bee Industry Development Officer based at Tocal College, reveals what wins and loses points
“The most common pitfalls in the honey category are related to density, flavour and clearness/brightness,” she points out.
Elizabeth’s high scoring tips:
Density. Ensure prior to extracting that frames are 100% capped with wax, or as close to as possible, as honey will be at its most dense then.
Flavour. Beware: using a hot knife during the extraction process speeds up uncapping, but risks scorching honey – creating a burnt flavour – if not used speedily and with care.
Clearness. Some honeys candy or granulate at a faster rate than others. So watch out for this in storage of your liquid honey entry.
For that extra edge? In 2017 Elizabeth was a steward helping District Exhibits Honey Judge Doug Somerville at the Royal Easter Show. Her advice to ABA members entering the the Col Pulling competition: Keep an open mind and flavour palette and put egos aside when your club decides on the apiary products to showcase your region. Her suggestion: “A blind/objective taste test and visual assessment at the club level will help lead your decisions if there's any contention.”
Any other secrets? “Remember beeswax can develop wax bloom, comb honey can be attractive to and spoiled by stored comb pests (wax moth and small hive beetle), liquid honey can candy, and creamed honey can reliquify if not stored in optimal conditions! Use the expertise that exists in your club, polish those glass surfaces free of fingerprints and you'll be right.
Have fun and good luck!