How do your honey, candles, mead, photos and baked goodies stack up? Bring your entries with you to EAS in Burlington and show them off! In past EAS conferences, sometimes the Honey Show has been skipped or pared down, but this year, Mike Palmer is going all-out. He is gathering sponsors and judges and is determined to have every category possible filled with as many entries as possible. Let’s bring our entries in and show them what we’re made of!
For the classes of honey, presentation is key. It’s kind of ironic that the honey itself is not judged, except in the black jar class. Why? The judges are grading you, not the bees. You are the one who bottled the honey or cut the comb. You took care to protect it during the drive to EAS, and you brought extra lids to make sure the entries had absolutely clean lids later. For the honey categories, set aside some of your darker honey now. We almost certainly will extract before August next year, but it won’t be dark honey, so save some for that class. Of course, bottle your entries at least a week ahead of the show, so all bubbles have a chance to rise to the top of the jar. When you buy a case of jars, check them all out before filling them and set aside the ones that have no bubbles or imperfections in the glass. Use these for show entries.
A great book to consult while preparing entries is Honey Shows by Penny McCaig.
If you enter the honey frame class, you can use this winter to build a carrying case for your frame. These cases are sometimes fancy, sometimes plain, but the important thing is for the case to protect your frame while allowing it to be seen.
If you want to enter the wax or candle classes, winter is the time to render, pour, mold and dip. Make all the examples of blocks and candles you can, so you are proficient and have lots to choose from later. Gadgets that you may have built or imagined can be fine-tuned, tested and shown to beekeeper fiends for comments in the months before EAS. Look over your photos from this past season, and think about pictures you can take this spring and summer for the photo classes. For the mead classes, enter some bottles you already created in years past. The art category is very openended.
Do you have something you made already, or can you sew, build or create something beautiful by August? There is that all-encompassing miscellaneous class, open to your imagination. Practice on your family with your baked goods recipes.
Practice makes perfect, and they’ll thank you! Generally, the show classes and rules from EAS 2010 will be used (easternapiculture.org/addons/confarchive/2010/2010Honey ShowRules.pdf ), but watch the EAS 2012 website for changes (easternapiculture.org/ conferences/eas-2012.html). Be sure to read the rules carefully. I didn’t before my first EAS show, and only brought one jar of honey for each class (you need three).
All entries must be the product of the entrant’s apiary and have been produced since the previous EAS Honey Show.
Classes: extracted honey (white, light, light amber, amber, dark), comb honey [section boxes, cut-comb (4" square), circular sections], creamed honey, chunk honey.
Here’s another great class: honey frame (wooden or plastic, in a case). Note that the case is not judged, only the frame of honey. Construct your case so two sides are clear, but all six sides of the frame are still visible. These frames in their wood and glass (or plexi) cases are lovely.
Brought back this year is the black jar class in which only the consistency and flavor of the extracted honey is judged.
Mead & Honey Beer Show
Classes: dry mead, sweet mead, mead made with fruit juices (Melomel, Cyser or Pyment), sparkling mead (made with or without fruit juices), honey beer (a light-to-medium bodied ale or lager using honey as 15-30% of fermentables), Braggot (a medium-to-strong ale using honey as 35-65% of fermentables).
Gadgets include new devices or improvements you have created. Have you ever made something for your beeyard or harvest set-up that nobody else uses? That’s a gadget! Classes: large devices (honey extractors, wax equipment, etc.) and small devices.
Photography Show (Prints)
Classes: close-up, scenic, portrait, essay (a set of 4 to 7 prints depicting a beekeeping story).
Beeswax and Candles Show
Classes: single piece of pure beeswax (2 lbs or more), one pair of pure beeswax candles (dipped or molded tapers), novelty (single or coordinated set, containing beeswax).
Honey Cookery Show
Classes: cookies, bars or brownies, cake (unfrosted or frosted), yeast bread, yeast bread (fancy), yeast rolls, quick bread, muffins, candy.
Art and Craft Show
Classes: gift arrangement, sewing or needlework, novelty beeswax (additives permitted), miscellaneous.
Above all, have fun