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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bottling Honey with a Honey Contest in Mind

When I harvest honey, I always keep in mind that I might want to enter a honey contest. I keep on hand a box of 24 queenline jars which are standard for light, medium and dark honey in contests.

There are specific aspects of honey judging which are based on cleanliness of the jar. I wash the jars in the dishwasher and use the heated drying cycle. Then I never touch the jars with my hands after that - only pick them up with a lintfree towel.

I always pour the first four jars of each super into honey contest jars, lifted straight from the dishwasher. I pour the honey into the jar above the line so that I have some wiggle room as a contest nears.



Then I cover each jar with plastic wrap, rather than the screw top because you can't have any honey on the jar lid when the contest is judged so I don't top the jars until I get to the contest site.



Then I screw the caps on over the plastic wrap.



When you enter honey in a contest, the three jar entries must all be from the same batch of honey. To accomplish not mixing up the jars,
I set the jars into the box they came in and date the row so I will be sure to keep the same harvest together. I should put something under the jar bottoms. It's as important that your jar bottom be fingerprint and lint free as it is for the jar sides. So far I haven't addressed that.

People write about jarring the honey for contests and riding with it in their hot car to help the bubbles rise to the top so they can be skimmed off and not count against your entry. I don't have to do that because my already jarred entry will sit for several months before any contest and will easily be able to have all the bubbles rise to the top.

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4 comments:

  1. I know nothing about judging honey, but yours is Blue Ribbon to me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd give you a blue ribbon too. Now let's eat some honey :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. cool Linda, thanks for the tid-bit of information.

    chris

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