UF/IFAS Honey Judge Training now conducted by American Honey Show Training Council

Popular across the United States since the mid-1800s, honey shows have been a way for people who keep honey bees and who produce honey, beeswax, and other hive products to have their items evaluated in the court of industry and popular opinion. Bragging rights about “Best Honey” is a badge of honor for many a beekeeper! But standards and consistency across honey contests in Florida and the United States overall has not been common.

So beginning in August 2024 with the UF/IFAS Summer Bee College held in Panama City, Florida, our Extension team will usher in an exciting new phase for apiculture education in the state. A formal partnership with the American Honey Show Training Council will allow UF/IFAS to host Honey Judge Training that has descended from the Welsh Honey Judge training and certification program brought to North America in 2001.

Practitioners of the Welsh system judging honey shows have long recognized emphasizing the highest levels of consistency, skill, and professionalism in their training and certification requirements. In the U.S., the American Honey Show Training Council has been established to continue and build on this foundation, to provide a uniform and consistent system to train and certify professionally skilled honey show officials. By providing standardized training material and certification standards in the tradition of the Welsh Honey program, AHSTC will be able to “level the playing field” for Florida beekeepers who participate in UF/IFAS events.

honey show

“Brutz” English, AHSTC founding member, is excited about the formal partnership, as Honey Judge Training will be hosted during our UF/IFAS Bee Colleges held in Gainesville each spring and satellite locations around the state each summer.

“We are here to help! Every honey show is different…but the credibility and integrity of the people organizing and officiating your honey show should be vigorously protected…[AHSTC Honey Judges] are here to provide technical, administrative, and marketing support.”

With an eye to raising and standardizing the quality of hive products across Florida, the UF/IFAS and AHSTC partnership can encourage our beekeeper businesses to strive for that excellence in everything they make. The goal ultimately is to provide greater opportunities for success, and even profits, for hobbyists and commercial producers alike.

For more information about honey bees, beekeeping, the UF/IFAS Bee College events, or entering a Honey Show in Florida, please visit our website at UFHoneyBee.com.

This blog was written by Extension Coordinator, Natalie Parkell.


Posted: May 10, 2024

Category: Agriculture, Food Safety, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: Bees, Entomology, Honey, Honey Bee, Honey Judge, Honey Judging, Honey Show, Honeybee, Insects, UFHoneyBeeLab, UFIFASExtension

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