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Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Sticky Situation-(aka Honey Judging)

After posting such a long post about JAKES Day, I decided to save this post for another day.  We had a such a full morning yesterday that most would call it quits for the day.  However, we hopped in our car and raced to the home of one of our local beekeepers.  We were met by two of our fellow beekeepers, Cecil and Marie, who taught us the basics of honey judging. 

We learned that there are several qualities that are desired for good honey. 

Moisture Content

However, when judging honey for contests, there are other factors involved.

Jar Cleanliness
Accurate Volume

There are also several categories that can be judged.  Yesterday we judged eight entries in three categories.  We had pure honey, comb honey, and whipped honey.  We were hoping to have an entire frame to judge but it did not work out. 

All of the honey was very tasty.  The boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience!  There only complaint was that the dippers were not big enough!  If they had had it their way, they would have eaten all of the honey in one sitting. 

The most interesting step was judging the moisture content.  We actually tested the level of moisture with a eye glass type instrument.  We all had an opportunity to use the device.  We were told most honey is considered good quality if it is between 14-18% moisture.  The honey yesterday was usually on the higher end of this moisture content but it all tasted great!

Marie heard we were going to be set up at the Forest Festival this coming week.  She asked if we would like to have an observation hive set up.  So we are looking to find a way to take our hive out to the festival.  This is just one more great way to reach out to the community and educate the public about the benefits of bees.  We are looking forward to the adventure.

Once again we are learning how to 'make the best better.'

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