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If, you are in the fortunate position of having honey to extract, before you do anything, please remember our Honey Show (Saturday 2 September).
Check your boxes carefully to find that perfect frame, sealed to the edges and proud of the frame. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the freezer until you can show it off in September. That must be the easiest show entry!
If you are extracting liquid honey, after filtering, fill two 1lb jars and add them to the frame in the freezer. This will keep the honey liquid. (If you need 1lb jars, let me know we have lots in store at reasonable prices).
If, on the other hand, your honey is trying to set as you filter it, then it is best to let it do that and enter the crystallised class.
If you would like to show soft set honey and don’t know the techniques, there is plenty of advice available on the National Honey Show website www.honeyshow.co.uk
You can improve the presentation of your honey by slightly overfilling the jar, leaving it in a warm place, maybe a sunny (?) windowsill, for a couple of days, and then skimming the surface to remove small bubbles and specks of dust.
There are classes for confectionary, cakes and biscuits as well so whatever your talent and whatever sort of honey you have, there is a class for you at our local show. Remember, 2 September at the Alresford Show.
A Note from your Show Secretary (similar, but not the same, as last year’s…)
Here is a reminder that the Honey Show is scheduled for Saturday September 2nd this year. We need at least a hundred entries to award a Blue Ribbon for the Best Exhibit in the Show. Last year, this was won by John Lauwerys, for 6 matching jars for sale (incidently, Jean won in the same class in 2015…). The winner gets a (large) bowl, and free entry to the National Honey Show in the autumn.
This year, I’ve booked Tom Salter as our Judge. Tom is very experienced (he does National level), and a very fair judge towards beginners too, and I hope you will all rise to the occasion. I will be sad, and may be grumpy, if we don’t get a good set of entries for him.
Every Honey Show is intended to “Show off” to the general public, telling them what a great product honey actually is. While there is a gentle competitive spirit between entrants, this is nowhere near as important as “showing the public”. Surely every beekeeper should want to do that…?! When the honey is safely extracted, put a couple of jars by for the Show bench, and wait for the prize(s) to roll in! It doesn't need to be many jars (but I’d love the challenge of staging a record entry!). £5 for a first prize, AND you get the jar of honey back, to sell on later! You don’t get your stake back, if you invest in a losing horse…
Even if you've never shown a jar of honey before, there are 2 classes for MVBKA novices. If you haven’t won a First prize in any honey show (anywhere), you can put a jar into each of these classes, and only compete against similar non-prize-winners. If you win a novice class, there's the normal 1st prize of £5. But there's also a fiver for the best Novice entry... So, you could end up with £10 in your pocket, AND get the jar back to sell later! If you only took home the £3 for 2nd prize last year, you could put the same jar in this year (if you had but resisted eating it!). Most classes are open, but Novice classes are only for MVBKA folk. Sadly, that means that “Winchester Folk”, who have occasionally camped onto our Show, are excluded from these, but it’s also good for MVBKA folk to “try without worrying”…
The schedule should be included, and is similar to last year's. Don’t forget about the new class for Wax Polish. Try it – the Judge might like it…! If you haven’t extracted anything, or don’t have the kit to make a candle, you can still enjoy the baking, or take a bee-related photo! Select as many classes as you are feel able to enter, then add a couple “just for fun”, and then return the form please (or phone or email me).
For those members of MVBKA intending to sell cut comb, please could you label each container with the individual price. You can charge what you like (!), but last year we sold at 75p an ounce, plus 20p for the container. It’s very helpful to the folk who check in your sale items if you separate your 8oz containers from the 6oz ones etc. (apologies if you only do metric!).
And, if you do “only do metric”, I’ve made an attempt to metrify the Schedule this year, after years of prodding by various Judges (especially Tom). Look carefully, as my first attempt to translate “half an inch” came to 15cm, which would have provided an int’resting metaphysical challenge for putting your label “at the bottom” of a honey jar…