Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Show me the Honey: Lancaster Beekeepers gather

Image: Dave Hamilton

Lancaster Beekeepers are holding their Annual Honey Show on Saturday 15th October at Hest Bank Village Memorial Hall.

The show is an opportunity for people to see honey and honey products that have been produced by members of local beekeeper groups and find out more about what makes good quality honey.

Honey, bee-keeping equipment and wooden crafts will be for sale, along with a cake stall with home-made cakes plus cream teas and a book stall.

Honey is a premium natural food, with many benefits both nutritionally and medicinally. It is delicious in cakes and chutneys and is an essential ingredient in traditional mead – honey wine. Bees are also wax makers, which is used in candles, polish and cosmetics.

To produce the honey for us to take from the beehive, and use in these various ways, we're told these wonderful insects fly over 55,000 miles to collect a pound of honey – the equivalent to flying 1½ times round the world!

Honey has a different flavour and colour depending on which flowers the bees have been visiting. When the beekeeper takes away the surplus honey from the bees, they extract the honey from the wax comb and store it in jars.

"For good honey you have to be fortunate and live in the right area, which we do," says  Lancaster Beekeepers' Honey Judge Dennis Atkinson, "or lots of various types of nectar and  pollen bearing trees and shrubs with wild flowers to give a variety of colour, taste, and aroma."

When judging honey Dennis says he is looking for, "good  presentation, with the honey being bright and shiny, not cloudy, of good flavour with an appealing bouquet, and a nice colour with no visible debris or scum on the surface of the honey".



• The Show runs from 2 – 4 pm and is open to entries from other local beekeeping clubs and organisations. For a schedule, please go to www.lancaster-beekeepers.org.uk



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