LCBA hosted 2 honey contests at the 2013 Southwest Washington Fair. The official Fair competition, in the agricultural division, assessed color, moisture content, & related criteria (click here for details). The "People's Choice" tasting focused strictly on flavor. Below, photos from our Fair competition; People's Choice pictures, at right.
Above, Sharette Giese & Alesha pose with their first prize entry in the dark amber category of the Fair's official honey contest: the Gieses' "Woogie Bee" honey can be found at the Chehalis Farmers' Market (click here for details).
Above, top entries in the dark amber category: 2nd prize went to Gary Stelzner & 3rd to Kevin Reichert & Grant Inmon.
Below, 3 of 6 winners in the tie for 1st prize amber honey:
Our 1st prize amber honey was submitted by: Dave Gaston, Ben Moe, Guy Priest, Kevin Reichert, Sarah Roebas, DeAnne Schlumpf; below, veteran beekeeper Roy Schaafsma served as judge.
Below, LCBA VP Dave Gaston took 1st prize in the comb honey category:
Winners in the "other honey products" category included Alesha Giese's hand-made & -painted wax candle:
Below, the most unusual "other" winner was Kevin & Jeanne Reichert's wild honey bee hive, which hung above LCBA's exhibit at the Fair:
Below, Dave Gaston's Top Bar hive & honey frame also took 1st in the "other honey products" category:
Below, to the left of the observation hive, a light box built by Dave Gaston sheds light on the difference between highly processed / filtered honey & the raw, unpasteurized honey judged at the Fair and tasted by visitors to LCBA's exhibit. Raw honey has a faintly cloudy appearance ~ pollen remains in honey that has not been filtered to excess. To learn more, visit our Honey page, or click here.
Below, close-up of Dave's light box:
Above, visitors sampled 14 varieties of local honey at LCBA's "People's Choice" honey tasting, Saturday, August 17, National Honey Bee Day.
Many visitors commented that even similar-colored honeys tasted very different: honey's taste reflects what forage the bees consumed, making each local honey a unique reflection of the bees' environment.
Below, a fairground bee casts her vote :
Below, Winners of People's Choice Honey Tasting:
Kevin Reichert & Grant Inmon
On the left, Kevin holds the first prize winner, a dark amber that garnered 29 of the 180 total votes cast; on the right, Grant holds the amber that tied for 3rd place with Tim & Sharette Giese's dark amber [winner of the official Fair contest]. Both varieties of honey came from bees hived from carve-outs in spring 2013.
Above, Kevin & Grant will serve no honey before its time....below, new LCBA members Sherri Underhill & Randy Duncan with their 2nd-prize winning amber honey ~ nice work for their first honey harvest!
Below, scenes from LCBA's honey tasting:
Above, volunteer Mike Helms looks on as visitors make their way around the tasters.
Above & below, tasters react to different flavors: everyone's palate is different (& that's ok!). . .
Below, President Norm Switzler joins visitors in sampling LCBA members' ~ & bees' ~ honey:
Below, LCBA's tasting table when the People's Choice contest began (it didn't look this neat for long):
Above, close-up of Kevin's & Grant's prize-winning honeys.