Richard Duncan of Niue Honey had a pleasant surprise from this year’s prestigious 85th National Honey Show (NHS) 2016 held in England.
The samples of Niue honey sent to the NHS (although registered by organisers under his own name) won two categories in the ‘Open to the World’ section. It also won the Medal of Ukraine 2016 for the Best Honey in Class 7. The medal was endowed by the Brotherhood of Ukrainian Beekeepers in 2009.
Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) has worked with the Niue Honey Company for several years. Last year, PT&I sponsored Mr Richard Duncan and Niue Honey Company owner Andy Cory to travel to the National Honey Show 2015 to enter for the first time.
The pair travelled to England together and during the long-haul flight, they placed the honey jars in the overhead storage lockers. When the jars were opened for judging, tiny air bubbles had surfaced at the top of the jar. Bubbles are a big no-no and the entry lost marks on presentation. On the plus side, however, they were invited back to the NHS.
Flick forward to this year. Mr Duncan sent four jars of honey to his contact in the UK and says he forgot all about it. That was until he received an email telling him Niue’s honey had won prizes in the “Open to the World” category – First in Class 2: Two Jars of Clear Honey (Gift) and the First in Class 7: Two containers of Clear Honey (Gift). The big news was it had won the Ukraine Award for the World’s Best Honey in its competition. The Medal of Ukraine was awarded to Richard Duncan who had entered the Niue Honey.
It is a poignant win for Niue Honey which last year declared Niue Island a Global Bee Sanctuary to try to preserve its small population of disease-free Italian bees. Niue’s Global Bee Sanctuary won global attention from a world already concerned about declining bee populations. Mr Duncan said he was pleased the honey had won prizes at NHS. He always knew the quality of the honey was there.
England’s Annual National Honey Show is acknowledged as the UK’s premier honey shows, held every October.
With nearly 250 competitive classes, the show attracts international beekeepers to compete for their awards. The NHS is considered the oldest and most well-respected competitions since the first ‘National Show of Bees & Honey’ held in London in 1923.
Mr Duncan said their supporter in England gave them tips on what to do to get the best result. He forwarded the honey samples to England at least two weeks prior to the contest. The honey was kept carefully to ensure there were no air bubbles on the surface of the honey when the jar was opened and then entered in Class 2 and 7. The honey won both classes and won the Medal of Ukraine as part of winning section 7. The Medal of Ukraine was presented by the Ukrainians for the first time at the National Honey Show in 2010 to the best honey from outside the British Isles. The Ukrainians donated the 10-year Medal after winning all first prizes in their categories. Ten medals were made from silver in Kyiv (Kiev) and sent to London for the annual winners. Mauritius won the first in 2010. It then went unawarded in 2011 but was won by the royal apiaries of Oman in 2012. Last year Eden Apiaries from Grenada were thrilled they won the medal. It was a life changing event for the honey maker who said the value of her honey pots rose immediately.
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