Results from the Big Island Beekeepers Association’s First Hawaiian Honey Challenge

Media Release:

Jenny Bach of Papa’aloa’s Bee Love Apiaries dominated the competition Tuesday in the Big Island Beekeepers Association’s first Hawaiian Honey Challenge, with 89.5 of a possible 100 points. Held at Hilo’s Komohana Extension Service Ag Building. Bach’s solid honey from fruit, citrus and palm flowers in lower Puna outpaced all other competitors in judging based on aroma, appearance, taste and texture. A commercial beekeeper with eight years’ experience, she maintains 34 colonies on the Big Island.

Image(s) from when the bees were removed from my house

Winner in the liquid honey division was Francis and Joyce Takahashi of Lihue, Kauai, with an entry gathered from bees dining on mac nut, citrus and tropical blossoms harvested in the Kalaheo area. The Takahashis have been beekeeping hobbyists for the past two years and have a total of five colonies. Their honey label is Miki Macs.

Shawn Harris of Hawaiian Acres’ Wao Kele Farm captured the Peoples’ Choice award with a liquid lehua and dragon fruit honey. A commercial beekeeper of five years’ experience, he and his brother Michael Harris maintain more than 50 colonies of bees.

Runners-up in the individual categores were:

Best aroma (liquid): John Hanson’s honey from Kapoho-area blossoms

Best aroma (solid): John Hanson’s ohia blossom honey from Volcano

Best appearance (liquid): A 2-way tie between Steelgrass Farms of Kapa’a, Kauai, and of Hilo. The Kauai honey came from palm blossoms in Kapa’a while the other was a Hilo blend.

Best appearance (solid): Wao Kele Farm’s kiawe and coconut blend

Best taste (liquid): A 3-way ties between two of Wao Kele’s honeys, the Peoples’ Choice lehua and dragon fruit and a liquid kiawe and coconut blend, and Dona Willoughby of La’akea Community’s ohia, tremia and garden plants blend

Best taste (solid) : Henry Iucker’s Daddy’s Stolen Honey of Hilo with a lehua honey gathered in Volcano

Best texture (liquid): Ruby Piano’s Puna wildflower blend

Best texture (solid): Paul Patnode of Volcano with his lehua honey gathered from Fern Forest

Judges for the sweet competition were Margarita Hopkins of Hawaii County Department of Research and Development; Hope Johnson, raw food advocate and food writer; Sonia Martinez, cookbook author and freelance food writer; Sandra Barr Riveria, former chef of Merriman’s Restaurant and currently teacher and writer; and Richard Short, beekeeper since the age of 10 and  manager of the UHH Agriculture Farm Lab.

Cary Dizon, newly elected BIBA president, said she appreciated the judges’ hard work and difficult task in judging 33 different honeys. She also expressed her thanks for the professionalism, patience and dedication of emcee Ken Hupp, UHH University Relations Public Information Officer.

For more information about bees, honey production, and BIBA activities, visit the website

One Response

  1. How can I order Lehua honey from the Wao Kele Honey Company?

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