Each fall our guild puts on its annual Limestone Beekeepers’ Guild Honey Contest for our guild members.
Limestone Beekeepers’ Guild honey contest is meant to encourage members to participate and learn. The goal is to promote entries in local fairs and larger competitions.
Below is the Limestone Beekeeper’s Guild honey contest guidelines. (These guidelines are the property of the guild and are applicable to the guild’s contest.)
Preparing an Entry for the Limestone Beekeepers Guild Honey Contest:
Judging honey requires the entries within a class, to be compared against each other. There are nine parts that are judged for a possible total of 100 points. The highest marks are given for the best entry in each of the nine parts and the entry with the highest total marks is the winner. Marks are reduced for the entries judged to be less than the best in each category. As an example, one of the categories is “freedom of air bubbles in suspension or as froth”. The honey with the least air bubbles or froth would receive the highest marks and the entry with the most bubbles or froth would receive the lowest mark.
It should be noted that the differences in all categories are very slight. When judging we must find things to separate the entries and that is not easy. We are looking for very minor differences.
Once again this year the Guild will have a prize for the People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award is voted on by those present at the November meeting to taste and determine the honey that they believe tastes best. Tasting and voting for the award has proven to be very enjoyable.
All honey entries are judged blindly. The judges divide the entries into the Light and Coloured classes and then number the entries on the lid. Marks are recorded by the number off the lid. The letter on the bottom of the jar that corresponds to the signup sheet is only referred to after the judging has been completed.
Here is the score sheet used by the judges for the Limestone Beekeepers Guild Honey Contest.
|1||Appearance of Container||5|
|2||Freedom from Crystals||20|
|3||Freedom from Foreign Material||15|
|4||Freedom of Air Bubbles either in Suspension or as Froth||15|
|5||Uniformity of Honey||5|
|7||Flavour and Aroma||10|
Appearance of the Container. The outside of the jar and lid should be free of fingerprints, honey, foreign material, identifying marks. The jar should be the jar issued by the Guild for the current year. The fill level should be full enough to be above the jars shoulder but not so high as to be on to the lid of the jar.
Freedom of Crystals. The honey should have no crystals in it. Cloudiness of the honey can be the beginning of crystallization.
Freedom of Foreign Material. Honey should be well filtered. Debris, bee parts, hairs and wax are considered foreign materials. Make sure your jars are clean before filling.
Freedom of Air Bubbles in Suspension or as Froth. Honey should be poured slowly and carefully into the jar so that air is not introduced into the honey. Air bubbles can be seen at the jar shoulders or at the honey surface.
Uniformity of Honey. Uniformity of honey refers to the colour of the entry being consistent through the jar. The honey should not have bands or swirls of different coloured honey within the entry.
Brightness. Brightness refers to honey that is vivid, brilliant and clear. Cloudy honey is not an example of bright honey
Flavour and Aroma. Flavour and aroma is judged for off taste or bad smelling honey. Most entries are NOT marked down for this category.
Density. Density of the honey refers to the moisture content of the entry. Honey above 18.2 % moisture content is marked down.
Colour. Most honey contest require the entrant to declare the colour category for their honey. Honey placed in the incorrect colour class means disqualification of the entry. In the Limestone Beekeepers Guild honey contest entrants are asked to declare the colour of their entry, white, golden, amber or dark on the signup sheet. We do not mark entries down for being in the incorrect colour class. The judges will divide the entries into the light and coloured classes, before judging.