Third Annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge – RESULTS

This year’s Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge was a special event.  For the first time this year the award categories were expanded to reflect varietal types of honey, the category of comb honey was added, and multi-floral blends were divided into three types (light, amber and dark).  A total of fifty-two entries were submitted by Hawaiian Natural Honey producers from around the state.

Judging took place at two events; the Formal Judging on November 2 conducted by a panel of five judges selected for their discriminating taste, and the Public Tasting event on November 10 at which anyone who bought a ballot could vote for the “People’s Choice” awards in three categories (liquid, solid, and comb).

Award winning entries in the Liquid category based on scores given at the Formal Judging are:

  • Best in Show – a light noni/palm honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Albizia Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – an amber Albizia honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Kiawe Honey rated highest for appearance – a light Kiawe honey submitted by Jenny Bach of Bee Love Apiary.
  • Best Taste for a Lehua Blend Honey – a light Lehua blend submitted by Jen Rasmussen of Paradise Nectars.
  • Best Appearance, Best Texture for a Lehua Blend Honey – a light Lehua blend submitted by Julie Myhre of J & J Coffee & Cacao.
  • Best Macadamia Honey rated highest for appearance, and texture – a dark Macadamia honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Mac Plus Honey rated highest for appearance and texture – a dark Macadamia blend honey submitted by Joyce Takahashi of Miki Macs Honey, Kauai.
  • Best Mango Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – an amber Mango honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Ohia/Lehua Honey – an amber Ohia Lehua honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Appearance for a Ohia/Lehua Honey – an amber Ohia/Lehua honey submitted by Greg Johnson.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Light Honey rated highest for texture – a light multi-floral honey submitted by Larry Reiss of Parsantha Apiary.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Amber Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – a Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Aroma for a Tropical Multi-floral Amber Honey – an amber multi-floral honey submitted by Callie McNew.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Dark Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – a dark multi-floral honey submitted by Tony Lydgate of Steelgrass Farm, Kauai.

Award winning entries in the Comb Honey category based on scores given at the Formal Judging are:

  • Best in Show – an amber Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Larry Reiss of Parsantha Apiary.
  • Best Macadamia Honey rated highest in appearance – an amber Macadamia honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Mac Plus Honey – a dark Mac Plus honey submitted by Joyce Takahashi of Miki Macs Honey.
  • Best Lehua Blend Honey rated highest in appearance – a light Lehua blend honey submitted by Carol Conner of Jaycee’s Bees.

Award winning entries in the Solid Honey category based on scores given at the Formal Judging are:

  • Best in Show – a light Ohia/Lehua honey submitted by Henry Iuker of Daddy’s Stolen Honey.
  • Best Lehua Blend Honey rated highest in appearance – a dark Lehua blend submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Texture for a Ohia/Lehua honey – an amber Ohia/Lehua honey submitted by Henry Iuker of Daddy’s Stolen Honey.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Dark Honey rated highest in appearance and texture – a dark Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Patrick Weder of Lotus Buddhist Monastery.

The entries winning this year’s three People’s Choice awards are:

  • Best Liquid Honey – a dark Eucalyptus honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Comb Honey – a light Noni/Palm honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Solid Honey – a dark Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Patrick Weder of Lotus Buddhist Monastery.

The Big Island Beekeepers Association owes much to the all those who contributed to make this year’s Challenge a success beginning with all those who choose to take on the Challenge and send in their entries to be evaluated.

We also want to extend a special thank you to our judges who labored seven hours on a Friday to rate all fifty-two entries.  Mahalo to:

  • Lauren Rusert from the Hawaii State Apiary Program.
  • Lorie Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee Farm.
  • Joan Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee Farm and Isla Custom Coffee.
  • Ralph Gaston of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee Farm and Isla Custom Coffee.
  • Sonia Martinez monthly columnist for the Hamakua Times, Farmers Market produce writer for Ke Ola Magazine and Farmers Market and farmers feature writer for the Hawai’i HomeGrown Food Network.

Mahalo to our sponsors whose donations helped our bottom line:

  • American Apitherapy Society, Inc.
  • Bee Culture
  • Bee Mo Bettah
  • Big Island Bees
  • Big Island Packaging
  • Hawaiian Springs
  • Island Princess Macadamia Nut Company
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  • Mann Lake
  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company
  • Miki Macs
  • Paradise Nectar
  • RevHoney
  • Royal Hawaiian Honey
  • Rusty’s Hawaiian
  • Sustainable Island Products
  • Volcano Island Honey Company

Mahalo to our amazing volunteers who made it happen:

  • Chandra Boyd
  • Pat Chu
  • Cary Dizon
  • HASS Bee Club members:  Rose Hanks, Dillan, and Juniper.
  • Heather O’Connell
  • Amy Ketner
  • Sean Kirkpatrick
  • Val Kimbrough
  • Star Newland
  • Jen Rasmussen
  • Larry Reiss
  • Randy and Danny Sosnansky
  • Allen and Juanipa Sylvester
  • Rod Vanderhoef
  • Catarina Zaragoza-Dodge

And most of all our Registrar, Pattie Rechtman, upon whose shoulders most of the organization and records keeping fell.

Thank you to Danielle Downey and Lauren Rusert of the State Apiarist Office who attended the event and made themselves available to the many beekeeper attendees who had lots to talk about.

We also wish to thank Alice Moon of the Downtown Improvement Association and Sam Robinson of Lets Grow Hilo for providing the venue and their helpers Georiga Pinsky and Lonnie who also contributed significantly to the overall organization of the event.

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