Preparing for a honey judging contest

Provided by Sue Garing 4/2/2015

Resources for Honey Contest Entrants

“How To”

Search YouTube for Virginia Webb’s “preparing honey show entries” videos.

USDA Honey Color Standards page 6 table. Yes you will need a meter that reads in Pfund mm units to make sense of this table.  See below.

Rules of the Game

New York State Fair Honey Show Department 21 Division F

Empire State Honey Producers Association Honey Show Calendar/Fall Meeting/Honey Show

Eastern Apiculture Society Honey Show (2014, 2015 not posted yet)

Judging equipment

  • Moisture meters are available in most beekeeping catalogs. Yes, you can learn to judge by eye but viscosity is very temperature dependent.
  • Color category gauges

“Professional”  Readout is in Pfund mm units.

“Get you close” Jack’s Scale – available in beekeeping catalogs.   Has a table to map to USDA categories.

A few folks around the state own an original “Pfund” grader which compares a sample to a standard glass plate.  The plate gets darker from one end the other. Thus the “Pfund millimeter” unit concept  (see USDA honey color chart). Color is very subjective and dependent on the jar, the light, and how clear the honey is.  That’s why we ask for comparable Queenline jars.

  • Polarometer

I don’t know of an affordable commercial instrument.   Most are homemade from polarizing film and a bit of woodworking. Using synthetic filter cloth and long sit time will get you a long way toward clear honey. $29

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