You are on page 1of 38

Whitney Long

Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia Bimonthly Meeting May 22, 2012

QUALITY HONEY
PREPARING, JUDGING, & EXHIBITING
1

What is Quality in Foods?


Product Health
Spoilage,

as represented?
food poisoning, adulterated?

Packaging Quantity

and handling
shelf life

cleanliness,

as represented? Influence of production process (+ or - ) Aesthetics


flavor,

visual appeal

Consistency
2

History of Food Competitions


Now:

USDA, FDA, states, regulate food preparation Then: Consumers were on their own County fair competitions:
Assisted consumers with an expert opinion Offered a way to rate and rank goods Educated producers on qualities consumers cared about Encouraged producers to raise own standards Freemarket incentive: top $ for top product Entertainment No NSACAR on TV; Desperate Housewives meant something else

Honey Shows Today


Pretty

Much the Same Criteria

Product as represented? Health


Spoilage,

food poisoning, adulterated? shelf life

Packaging and handling


cleanliness,

Quantity as represented? Influence of production process (+ or - ) Aesthetics


flavor,

visual appeal
4

Consistency
4

Honey Shows Today


Emphasis
Test

on fun and education

yourself, check your quality Get honey moisture score educational Bragging rights, personal satisfaction Experience a fair from a new, historic perspective
Appropriate

for all levels

Beginning beekeepers (learn good techniques early) Advanced (an interesting challenge, take your game to a new level)
5

Rating Honey
ONLY

THINGS THE BEEKEEPER CAN CONTROL EXTRACTED HONEY CRITERIA


Density Absence

of crystals Cleanliness (lint, dirt, wax, foam) Flavor (burnt, fermented, Bee-B-Gone) Uniformity & accuracy of filling Container appearance

-1

ADD PHOTO OF JAR

Rating Honey
Level

playing field

Anonymous

(no labels; some exceptions) Same jar (Classic glass 1-LB honey jar) Honey color classes
100

point scale Standard Score Sheet Rules and criteria weighting vary slightly

Density
Above18.6%
Measured

moisture: honey can ferment (grow yeast, bacteria)


as density, factor of sugar content Using refractometer (light refracfive index) Honey over 18.6% = disqualified ! Honey below 15% = suspicious Some judges dock points if +/- 16.5% What to do:
CAPPED

HONEY ONLY the bees know! Dry equipment Dry extracting day Hold super in dry location before extracting
9

Absence of Crystals
Crystals

concentrate sugars: separated liquid could be above 18.6% moisture (and therefore ferment)
Evaluated

using a strong light or polarized light shows crystals not visible in regular light What to do:
Warm Filter Watch

out when using last seasons crop


10

10

Clean Honey vs. Crystallized

11

11

Cleanliness (of honey)


Particles

promote crystallization, suggest poor sanitation


Subscores

for:
Lint,

Wax Dust
Evaluate:
Visual

hair, fiber Foam


same method as crystals

Polariscope Interfere

with refractometer moisture reading


12

12

Cleanliness (of honey)


Worth

a lot of points

With

customers In competition (30/100)

What

to do: Minimize particulates at every step (including in honey supers) Clean everything touching honey. While drying equipment, avoid lint Lint free straining material Extra fine strainer (usually fabric) 13 No pet hair !!! 13

Polariscope (top view)

View honey jar through window in front

Here and here: sheets of polarized film. Place honey jar between them in box

Light source in back a standard bulb 14

14

Naked eye

Polariscope box view

Shows residual foam - every tiny bubble shows. Microscopic crystals sparkle like stars in the sky
15

15

Cleanliness (of honey)


Wax

and foam float Dirt settles Let honey settle before filling jars Honey in center of tank is often cleanest
Remove

possible

as much as

Fill

jar from bottom of source container (use honey gate/valve)


16

16

Flavor
Beekeeper
Judge

errors create off flavors

tastes sample (on toothpick or stick) Points off for flavors caused by beekeeper Flavor due to floral source not judged What to do:
Follow

directions if using chemicals in the hive Avoid high moisture/fermented honey Avoid overheating honey Watch uncapping knife temperature (scorch)
Somethings

points here!

really wrong if you dont get full


17

17

Uniformity & Accuracy of Filling


When

rules call for 1 pound honey: provide exactly 1 lb of honey Classic honey jar ONLY for extracted honey
Pints

a pound world roundexcept for honey

Evaluated
Look

against jars fill ring

lid).

for the ring on each jar (below threads for

18

18

Correct Jar, Correct Fill


Threads for lid *Fill line Shoulder of jar

* Fill line or ring is a continuous ring molded into the glass around lower jar mouth
19

19

Uniformity & Accuracy of Filling


What
Aim

to do:

for the middle of the fill ring. Mind the meniscus Be precise: +/- 1 millimeter often the difference between 1st prize and 2nd prize Judges differ. Do your best, the rest is luck

20

20

Container Appearance
Immaculate,
Sticky,

shiny, perfect jar suggests good sanitation and long shelf life
smudgy, stained jar is unappealing, messy, attracts ants Chipped jar, or scratched/dented lid, or re-used lid seal can affect storage life

Judged by visual inspection and same methods as crystals


Some

judges subtract points if the jar has been tipped over (honey on the lid interior). Controversial. Be prepared for this possibility. Some people change the lid just before entering show
21

21

15/20 9/10 28/30 20/20 8/10 8/10

22

22

23

23

Container Appearance
What

to do about it:

Clean

everything Choose most perfect jars and lids Watch out for water marks, soap scum, adhesive Learn to fill perfectly with no honey on threads or rim: absorbs moisture from air and eventually runs down jar (sticky!); wiping can leave lint Take precautions against finger prints on glass Overall presentation counts Mfgrs ID# etched into jar is normal, no points off

24

24

Judging Criteria Available


Extracted

honey Comb honey Chunk honey Bees wax (block; candles = craft) Honey cookery Fair theme (2012: Live Green, Learn Green) Other Frame of honey comb* Labeled honey or set of jars* Mead and specialty items* More. * At larger fairs
25

25

26

26

Grading Honey Color


Standard
Water

colors
* Most typical in

white Light amber* Medium amber* Dark amber Dark


Color

Northern VA

standards exist but are not widely used (expensive and hard to find) You may enter one tem per class Judge may rearrange entries (to make more even distribution between classes)
27

27

28

28

August

9-12, 2012 (Thursday-Sunday) All BANV members eligible for honey show regardless of residence Free entry

Arlington County Fair

PLEASE
Fair

ENTER!

needs honey and beekeeping product entries to ensure show continues!!!


29

29

Entering Arlingtons Fair


READ

RULES! Internet search Arlington County Fair 2012 competitive entries Drop off honey sample in 1 lb jar
Wednesday

evening Thursday early morning

1) Stop at registration
Fill

out entry form (available online or at fair) Fill out hang-tag (available at Arlington libraries or at fair; tie onto jar neck)

2) Carry sample to honey station


Check

in with honey superintendent (thats me) to be sure entry is recorded at station


30

30

Arlington Fair Judging


Judged
No,

late Thursday morning

you cannot watch if you entered Judges are arranged by Fair Board through State Apiarist or VA Cooperative Extension
Experienced

honey judges or beekeepers with judging experience (from another county)

This

is a good beginners fair competition is not fierce


31

31

Arlington Fair Awards


Results
1st

can be viewed in person Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon


place blue ribbon 2nd place red ribbon 3rd place white ribbon If there are enough entries: champion rosettes, and grand champion rosettes (cash prizes)

Three

kids age groups, adults judged separately


32

32

After the Fair


Pick

up your entries Sunday afternoon Usually someone can help pick up yours if you cant make it

33

33

BANV HONEY BOOTH


BANV

honey sales booth runs concurrently. Observation hive You can sell honey or volunteer to be a helper.

34

34

Observation hive at the BANV booth

Observation hives green commute after the fair Yes, the bees are still in there!

35

35

More Information
Honey
Use

Shows: Criteria and How to Prepare

search engine Honey judging and Honey show Eastern Apiculture Society new web page on honey competitions (Resources pages) http://www.easternapiculture.org/ U.K. sites have some detailed information and advice

36

36

More Information
Other

Honey Shows

Maryland

State Fair has allowed VA residents to enter in past years Eastern Apiculture Society August 13-17, 2012 Vermont (different state each year) For kids: 4-H Fair in Fairfax County Some local beekeeping associations sponsor events in MD and VA Virginia State Fair (2012 cancelled)
37

37

In memory of Alan Fiala, Qualified Honey Judge, BANV

Lets Look at some honey


Whitneylong@earthlink.net
38