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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 Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Friday, December 07, 2012

Alexander and the Red Ribbon Year

I love Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.  Poor Alexander - nothing goes right for him.  He even has to wear his railroad train pajamas and he hates his railroad train pajamas.  When he goes with his brothers to buy shoes, everyone gets cool ones, but they only have boring uncool ones in Alexander's size.

It's a great book to read when things aren't going well.

My honey contest year was a little like Alexander's day.  When I entered my wax block, in each show the winning entry was poured into a design mold instead of a block.  It's much harder to pour a solid block but since most honey contest rules don't designate specifically a solid block with no design, then fancier looking entries always win.

So this was a red ribbon year.  I never won a blue ribbon in any of the many categories I entered.  And I should remember that there were plenty of people who entered honey contests this year who didn't get any ribbon at all, but it was still disheartening.

Usually one wants to improve, not go downhill!



















Ordinarily I'd say, "Well, there's always next year," but I'm thinking I might skip entering contests next year and focus on honey production instead.

I'm pretty sure I've entered my last wax block, although I feel so drawn to that effort.  I didn't get to enter the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers' honey contest this year because I was in Ireland, and our honey contest rules do not allow a design mold poured block.   Here are our rules for wax block:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Class 7:  Wax block
1.      The block must be at least one inch thick but not more than two inches thick.
2.      The block must weigh a minimum of two pounds, (but no more than three pounds)
3.      The block should be smooth-surfaced and free of decorations or embellishments.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We worked really hard at Metro to develop a complete and comprehensive set of rules.  If your club needs guidelines for how to write honey contest rules, we ran ours past Robert Brewer (who trains most of our country's Welsh honey judges) and Keith Fielder before completing them.  Here's a link to the MABA honey contest rules.

So, we'll see next year.  Maybe I'll enter the wax block, but probably skip the honey entries for next year.

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