Record attendance at Honey Tasting

DESPITE the fact that the thermometer didn’t rise above one degree Celsius all day over 50 members of the St. Alban’s Beekeepers’ Association put in what must be a record attendance at this year’s ‘Honey Tasting’ held at the United Reform Church Hall, Chiswell Green on Friday, November 26.
The evening followed its usual format with the jars of honey being displayed anonymously on a large central table and the spectacle was a joy to behold. Everyone is then invited to taste them all and mark them with a score of one to five. There were 25 jars put up for judging and the standard was in fact so high that it made selecting extremely difficult and in order to make a judgement between some it was necessary to deduct marks for things like presentation to help make a decision. All the honey was of extremely good quality being in the main very ripe and I would guess they all had a very low water content.
There were many varieties ranging from the more standard flavour of honey as gathered from our apiary which mainly consists of what comes from arable farm land being largely from rape, beans and the adjacent hedgerows to some very delicious pale varieties which I understand emanated from lime trees. At the other end of the spectrum there were a few very dark treacly jars which were either from the chestnut blossom or honey dew. One of these jars of honey dew honey had, we learned later, been flavoured by the bitumen on a garage or shed roof from which the bees had collected the honey dew. This is probably an acquired taste and could perhaps catch on.
The winner of the cup was again from the Wingate family. David, as opposed to Anne, who had won it previously, so the cup can again reside in the same place on their sideboard for another year. Second was Caroline Moore and third Maureen Thorne. This event was followed as usual by a sumptuous buffet which was supplied by the members who brought along a dish, either savoury or sweet, and this was followed by a cup of the ‘beekeepers best friend’ a cup of tea.

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