Honey, Wax & Mead Competition
The BCHPA is proud to offer contest categories in Master’s (5 years or more in beekeeping) and Novice/Beginner Classes as well as the People’s Choice Award for Honey. Ribbons and Prizes will be awarded! All entrants MUST be in attending or volunteering at the 2023 BCHPA AGM. There is no charge for entering. The deadline for contest entries is 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2023. Winners announced at the Banquet dinner event on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
Categories for Liquid Honey Include a Masters Class and a Novice/Beginner Class. There is only one class for Mead, Beeswax, Honey Frames, and Chuck Honey:
1. Liquid White
2. Liquid Golden
3. Liquid Amber
4. Chuck Honey in Jars
5. Frames of Honey
7. Mead Non-Carbonated Dry
8. Mead Non-Carbonated Sweet
9. Metheglin – Spiced Mead (Mead w/Fruit)
General Rules for Honey Competition:
- Judges will score using the National Scale of Points for Judging Honey.
- The prestigious aggregate Best Honey Award called the Premiere Honey Exhibit
The award will be presented to the Exhibitor who has the highest aggregate score in 3 categories, having exhibited a minimum of three distinct honey products.
- Exhibitors may enter in two or more liquid honey or mead classes, however, the
highest score of one class will be considered toward the aggregate Best Honey Award.
- At the banquet, you can taste-test the liquid honey entries and vote for your honey of choice! The exhibitor with the most votes will win the coveted “People’s Choice Award” for their honey and gain bragging rights.
- Labels or any distinctive design that could identify the exhibitor will not be allowed on the entries until judging is complete. Each exhibitor may only enter one item per Class Category.
- Jar size must be 1lb or 500g jars, without labels or distinctive markings. All 3 must be identical.
- Beeswax – there must be either 2x 500g blocks or 2x 1lb blocks. Beeswax will be judged by cleanliness, colour, level, consistency of samples, marks and cracks.
- Entrants must be attending the 2023 BCHPA AGM.
- All entries must be received by 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
- An exhibitor may not enter more than one exhibit in any one class. The exhibitor must colour grade their entry prior to registration (or major points will be deducted).
- All entries of honey must be the product of the exhibitor’s own apiary from the current year (2016) and prepared by the exhibitor.
- Entries should be from the same honey batch and all 3 jars in each entry must colour match.
- The standard for colour will be based on the Canada Honey Classifier. Honey with moisture of more than 18.6 per cent will receive 0 points for moisture content.
- Ribbons (and some prizes) will be awarded for first, second, and third in each category
- Please consider donating a jar of your award-winning honey to the silent auction!
- All exhibitors are encouraged to contribute one jar of their exhibit for the People’s Choice Award at the banquet
- Freedom from Air bubbles either in Suspension or as Froth – Air bubbles in honey are not as serious as foreign material but detract from its appearance. Try to avoid their creation by careful handling of the honey. Warming the honey will help bring bubbles to the surface as foam. Remove foam or froth with a teaspoon.
- Uniformity of Honey – Honey in all jars should have the same density, flavour, colour, and appearance.
- Brightness – Bubbles, granulation, and dingy glass give an exhibit a dull appearance, Bubbles and granulation have been dealt with elsewhere. Jars may be given a sparkle by dipping in a hot water-vinegar solution and drying them on a lint-free towel for polishing with a glass polish. They should be wrapped in paper napkins after polishing. Do not use newspaper or aluminium foil. Honey sometimes looks dull and loses points because it contains colloidal material over which the beekeeper has no control.
- Flavour and Aroma – Since people differ in their senses of taste and smell, emphasis should be placed on flavour and aroma. Therefore points are lost if the honey has a disagreeable or foreign flavour.
- Density – (17 per cent or Less) – Entries arc marked down 1 point for each one-tenth of 1 per cent moisture in excess of 17 per cent. A refractometer is required to determine such degrees of moisture. Moisture content of 18.6 or higher will be disqualified.
Comb Honey Class (Sections and Cut Comb):
- Quality and Uniformity of Comb Sections – Here the judge is considering the wooden or plastic frame around the comb. Quality refers to the whiteness, polish, dovetailing, square-ness, and lack of imperfections in the frames. Uniformity – requires that all sections be of one type; 4′′ x 5′′, (10.16 X 12.7 cm) 41/4′′ x 41/4′′ (10.8 X 10.8 cm) with beeswax, 4ʹA” x 41/4′′ (10,8 X 10.8 cm) without beeswax, or 4′′ (10.16) Ross Round
- Cleanliness of Frame Sections – This refers to the removal of all propolis, burr comb, and foreign material from the wooden sections. Use a knife blade and sandpaper. Care must be taken not to damage the cappings. A narrow pointed blade is required for removing propolis from the inner corners. Be careful that the propolis and wood scrapings do not enter open cells. If scrapings do enter open cells, they should be carefully removed with a toothpick.
- Completeness of Fill Appropriate to the Sections Used – Passage holes from one side of the comb to the other are difficult to avoid. Ideally, the entire frame should be filled with comb. The judge also considers the thickness of the comb. Shallow comb or empty spaces are scored down. Excessively thick combs due to the use of improperly matched equipment or misplaced fences would also be scored down.
- Completeness of Capping – Judges will score down combs with uncapped cells of honey. Leave the comb sections long enough to have the cappings completed but not long enough for them to become darkened.
- Cleanliness and Appearance of Cappings – The cells and the cappings that cover them are naturally white but become darkened as the bees add pollen and propolis to the wax. As the wax becomes darker, it becomes stronger and more useful to the bees. Dark combs are less attractive, and the longer the comb remains with the bees, the darker it will become. Comb honey must be removed from the hive as soon as the bees have filled and capped the comb sections. Dark combs lose points. White combs gain points. Cleanliness refers to the absence of propolis, wood scrapings, or dirt on the surface of the comb or in open cells. Capping should not be sticky with honey.
- Appearance; refers to the whiteness and smoothness of the cappings. Mechanical damage to the comb in handling is scored down. There is a wide variation in the appearance of comb sections produced by different colonies. The manner in which the cell is capped varies. Some colonies produce a capping that touches the honey in the cell. These cappings have a dull, greasy appearance. Preference is given to comb surfaces that arc smooth, even, and snowy white in colour.
- Quality and Flavour – The granulation of comb honey lowers its quality, as does the presence of pollen or bee parts in the comb or the use of heavy foundation. Any fermentation would disqualify an exhibit. No points would be lost for flavour unless there was a disagreeable taste to the honey.
- Uniformity of Combs – As indicated under “Appearance of Capping”, combs produced by different colonies vary a good deal as to colour, completeness of fill, and appearance of cappings. There is a real advantage in getting the comb exhibit sections from one colony if possible.
Frame of Honey Class:
- Exhibits that call for a frame of honey, or combs of honey removed from the hive. This is one of the easiest exhibits to prepare. The BCHPA has approximately 10 stands for display of honey frames available. Choose a comb completely filled and capped. The cappings should have an even surface and be white. Brood-rearing darkens combs, and the best comb for exhibition is one that has been constructed, filled and capped during a strong flow of light-coloured honey. Take care not to damage the comb once it is removed from the colony. Let it hang free in a wooden box, such as an apple box, with cleats to prevent it from moving once it is in place. Scrape the wooden frame free of propolis and then wrap the comb in cellophane or Saran Wrap to protect it from flies.
- Suitability of Wooden Frame – the frame should be properly nailed with all corners at right angles and opposite sides parallel. There should be at least two horizontal supporting wires. The frame should be free of knots and splits that would weaken the frame.
- Cleanliness of Wooden Frame – The Frame should be clean, white wood, scraped free of debris.
- Completeness of Fill – The comb should completely fill the frame, and all cells should be filled with honey.
- Completeness of Capping – All cells of honey should be completely capped if possible.
- Cleanliness and Appearance of Cappings – Cappings should be white without excessive travel stain and without mechanical damage, dust, or dirt. Cappings should present a level, even surface over the entire comb.
- Quality and Flavour – The comb should be free of any brood or pollen. There should not be any noticeable difference in the honey in different parts of the comb. There should be no undesirable flavour to the honey. Honey in comb should be liquid, not granulated.
- Colour – The ideal colour for beeswax is described as straw-coloured, primrose, or canary yellow. This colour should be clear, not cloudy.
- Cleanliness – Beeswax should be free from honey, propolis, bee parts, or other impurities. If any specks are apparent on the bottom of the cake, they should be scraped away and the wax cake re-melted. No film of a mold release agent should be detectable. Avoid wrapping the wax in materials that will leave lint on the surface.
- Uniformity of Appearance – Cakes should be the same size, shape, and colour, Select 15 to 20 pounds (6.75-9 kg) of white raw wax cappings and process the entire lot at one time if possible. In this manner, you should avoid the variations in colour, size of cake and cleanliness that may occur if each cake is processed at a different time. The surface can be polished with a nylon stocking to remove bloom and bring out the shine.
- Freedom from Cracking – Beeswax shrinks in cooling. If cooled too quickly, it will often show cracks in the upper surface. By covering the mold with a board and allowing it to cool at room temperature, cracking should be avoided. Handle the cakes carefully to avoid bruising and cracking.
- Exhibits must often be transported hundreds of miles. If care is not taken in packing, the exhibit may become damaged and present a very poor appearance on the show- table.
- Honey classes with Comb – Each comb section should be neatly wrapped in cellophane. The combs should then be placed in cardboard or wooden boxes to protect them from damage.
- Liquid or Granulated Exhibits – The tops of the jars should be screwed on tight, and each jar wrapped or separated by the jar box filler, and each jar placed in its own compartment. “Fragile” and “Glass” stickers should be placed on the top and side of the carton. Care should be taken not to lean or tip the jars to avoid getting honey on the lid, or fresh clean lids can be brought and placed on the jars once they have arrived at the show.
- Bees Wax – Each cake of beeswax should be separated from the next. Care should be taken that none of the surfaces become marked.