A taste of success for honey
Saturday 23rd February 2013, 10:00AM GMT.
HERM Island Honey is now an award-winning product, after taking several prizes in the annual Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association honey show.
The show is open to all Bailiwick beekeepers, with categories in many different areas including honey, beeswax and honeycomb.
Herm beekeepers Rosie Wheeler and Ben Makemson entered two ‘perfect’ jars of honey. There are strict guidelines regarding entries and adhering to these rules means more points.
They also entered a frame from the hive that demonstrated how the bees have made their honeycomb.
The judges looked at how well the comb was filled with honey and capped off with wax by the bees.
All in all, the Herm beekeepers won 10 prizes, five of them first places.
They also won a certificate of merit and the Norah Watts Trophy, which is awarded to the beekeepers who collect the most points in the categories they enter.
‘Ben and I have been looking after the bees for about 18 months,’ said assistant gardener Rosie.
‘Neither of us have any prior experience and we have enjoyed the challenge of learning something new. It has been very interesting learning how the bees react to us and how they work in their hives. I like them too because they pollinate my flowers.’
It is also worth mentioning that Herm Island Honey also made it into royal circles, with a jar being presented to Prince Charles last summer.
Rosie and Ben have developed their skills with the help of Jeannine Tanquerel of the Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association.
Jeannine believes she knows why Herm produces honey of an award-winning standard.
‘Ben and Rosie have been completely focused and eager,’ said Jeannine. ‘Good Guernsey mongrel black bees were introduced to Herm. It is not surprising that, given the micro-climate, few pesticide problems and the extensive foraging of wild flowers and trees, production is superb.
‘Hygiene is always of utmost importance and I have shown Ben and Rosie that taking great care of details will give you a recipe for success – golden honey, clean wax and a prize-winning product.
‘Beekeeping in Herm is a pleasure and very rewarding.’
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