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Bay honey producers “truly something special”

Two Bay of Plenty honey producers came second and third at the National Honey Competition. File photo/SunLive.

Two Bay of Plenty honey producers have been named by Apiculture New Zealand as two of the top honey producers in the country at the industry’s national conference.

The Conference hosted more than 1000 delegates from the apiculture industry at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

The National Honey Competition is one of the highlights of the event honouring producers across a range of honey categories and naming the top producers at a gala dinner.

The runner-up is Rotorua-based, non-commercial beekeeper Kim Poynter who received three gold medals, one silver and a bronze.

 In third place are Jody and Ralph Mitchell of Kaimai Range Honey from Tauranga who received one gold, two silvers and a bronze medal.

The 2021 Supreme Award winner is Jarved Allan of 100% Pure New Zealand Honey based in Timaru. 

Jarved received four gold medals and four silver medals for a variety of honeys including liquid honey, naturally granulated honey, creamed honey, honey dew and cut comb.

Head judge Maureen Conquer says the judging panel are extremely impressed with the quality and taste of the honeys entered. 

“It was an absolute pleasure to sample these honeys and extremely difficult to determine the winners. The number and quality of entries is continuing to increase each year, showing the true wealth of talent in our industry,” she says.

All entries were blind tasted, and an international scale of points was used to determine the winners across 12 main categories.

Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos says the awards are highly contested amongst beekeepers and honey producers.

“Our industry knows that a medal in the ApiNZ National Honey Awards indicates the highest quality of honey. 

“We have so many beautiful honeys available in New Zealand, but the National Honey Award winners have produced something truly special.”

The Apiculture New Zealand Conference is also an opportunity to celebrate other successes with awards presented to those making outstanding achievements in apiculture science, innovation, sustainability and photography. 

Dr Phil Lester of Victoria University of Wellington has been awarded the Peter Molan trophy for his exceptional contribution to apiculture science, while New Zealand-based firm Ecrotek received the Roy Paterson Trophy for apicultural innovation for their plant-based, carbon-neutral bee frames.

Hantz Honey, from Leeston, South Canterbury received the Apiculture New Zealand Sustainability Award for their commitment to sustainability within their business. Hawke’s Bay beekeeper John Berry received the ‘Unsung Hero Award’ for his outstanding contribution to the industry. 

The Supreme winner in the ApiNZ National Photography competition is Hazel Moran, a non-commercial beekeeper from Auckland, while the People’s Choice Award was given to Lindenberg Gomes for his bee-filled portrait.

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