Beekeeper has show buzzing over trophy successes

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Record entries were received for Countryside Live’s honey show but it was one woman’s produce that stole the limelight.

There is a thriving honey making scene in Yorkshire. With 1,700 members, the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association is the largest such organisation in the country. Many of the group’s members and affiliated groups entered their homemade produce for the judges to sample at the show, including Wendy Maslin, who picked up three trophies.

The apiarist, from Kirk Ella near Hull, has been keeping bees for nine years and took the Yorkshire Post Cup, Yorkshire Herald Cup and the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association Challenge Cup, as well as the Chairman’s Gavel on behalf of Beverley Beekeepers’ Association.

She said: “There has been quite a surge in suburban beekeepers. Along with my husband Simon, we have three hives – one at the house, another at our allotment and a third in the country near home.

“Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby. There are so many different elements to it. For Countryside Live I have obviously been concentrating on the honey, and am delighted to have done so well as I am up against some stiff competition.”

Meanwhile, the best exhibit in all classes was soft set honey shown by newcomer Andrew Woolhouse, of Staincross near Barnsley. For his highly commended product, he earned the British Beekeepers’ Association and the National Honey Show Blue Ribbon Award.

Mr Woolhouse said: “I’ve kept bees for six years but I’m still relatively new and learning a lot.

“I work with a local farmer who lets me put hives on the edge of his land. I’ve taken a honey crop for three or four years and this is the first show I’ve entered.”

His honey tasted smooth and creamy with a sweet finish.

“What I was aiming for was a very fine consistency. This type of honey can taste grainy, which I didn’t want. I wanted it soft enough so it was just nicely spreadable.”

One of the honey section’s judges, Michael Badger, said: “We have had an excellent standard of entries this year and a lot of new prize winners which is very encouraging. Next week is the National Honey Show in Surrey so two of three of the exhibitors here will be going on to that.”