Sheffield Beekeepers Association’s annual honey show, sponsored by Swann Morton and Evans Lee estate agents, was held at the Sheffield Fayre on 24th.
Beekeepers from across Sheffield had the opportunity to showcase their excellent produce and beekeeping craft. There were a total of 116 entries over 27 different classes. As well as several different types of honey on show, there were categories for mead, honey cake and beeswax.
- Ivor Flatman uses a light to inspect some honey at the Honey Show in Sheffield 2014. Photo credit: P Khorassandjian
The prize for Best in Show, sponsored by Swann Morton, went to Phil Khorassandjian, who achieved five first places, five second places and three third places! Veteran beekeeper and previous winner of national and international awards Eugene Grant also won five first places. The prize for Best Honey went to Tony Lane, who has been keeping bees in his garden in Crosspool for three years.
Tony puts his success down to the wide variety of garden plants nearby. The John Shaw novice cup was won by Martyn Craske.
The entries were judged by the Regional Bee Inspector for the North East of England, Ivor Flatman.
Ian Smith, Sheffield Beekeepers Association Chairman, said “Ivor did a sterling job of examining every single entry and tasting every sample of honey, every cake and every bottle of mead. He even tasted some of the wax!”
Phil Khorassandjian, Sheffield Beekeepers Association Secretary and winner of Best in Show said “The whole purpose of entering the Honey Show is to improve the quality of our products, learn from the experts and educate others on the standards that can be achieved. I think this show goes a long way toward helping to achieve our aims of promoting the craft of beekeeping and raising awareness of the importance of bees. I’m quite chuffed with my wins but there is a lot to learn still.”
Eugene Grant, Sheffield Beekeepers Association member and winner of five classes said “It was heartening to see so many good entries and the youngsters doing so well. Of course, it’s all about looking after your bees and then paying attention to detail when it comes to preparing your honey and other exhibits for the Show bench.”
Jim Horsfall with only one year of beekeeping experience and winner in the Creamed Honey class said “It’s great to see your honey on the show bench and to win, but it is the bees that do all the hard work. As a beekeeper you are just there to make sure the bees are happy, and in return you can take a share of their honey.”
To be able to produce the best honey, a beekeeper needs to keep his bees somewhere with an abundance of flowering plants and trees, so the bees can collect the nectar and turn it into honey.
Beekeepers also need to be adept at extracting honey from the wax combs.
Amateur beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular and important. The majority of the estimated 274,000 hives in the UK are kept by amateur beekeepers. Many of the UK’s food crops rely on honey bee pollination. However honey bee populations are in decline around the world what beekeeping is all about.