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Braintree Division held their Annual Divisional Honey Show as normally as possible under the current Covid restrictions. The show was well supported with 25 members making a total of 87 entries.

A risk assessment was undertaken and measures were put in place to keep everyone safe. A gazebo was erected at the entrance of White Notley Village Hall and everyone brought their exhibits packed up in boxes and left them on the table. The Show Secretary and two stewards afixed the show labels and took the entries into the hall. Masks were worn, hand sanitisers were provided and we adhered to the White Notley Village Hall Covid guidelines at all times.

Participants were able to purchase Thornes beekeeping equipment from our sales table and as all beekeeping trade fairs were cancelled this year it was a great success. In fact you could say that we held a mini National Honey Show in White Notley Village!

Our Show Judge was Jim McNeill, and he worked alone in the hall and left the result slips on a table in the foyer. He also left advice slips on some of the entries (wax colour poor, short weight, suface not clean so needs skimming, etc). Whilst judging took place, there was a live Awards Ceremony on Zoom organised by Stacy Cronly-Dillon. The Show Secretary relayed the results to Stacy and she entertained everyone whilst the results came in. It was rather like the Oscars with everyone dressing outrageously for the occasion. Some people enjoyed watching the spectacle from the Cross Keys pub in White Notley and others went home. After the show, the entries and prize cards were packed up by the stewards and people returned to collect their exhibts.

Jim was impressed by the quality of entries and how well-supported the event was. Best in Show was awarded to Maria Little for two fabulous beeswax candles. Jim commented that the quality of wax was superlative, they lit easily, burnt well and relit without any problem. Maria will be presented with the Walter Gee Trophy for Braintree Division Best in Show. Full results are shown below.

Honey Shows have been a rare event across the country this year and we are proud that Braintree Division has shown what can be done under difficult circumstances. Let’s hope that next year we’ll be back to normal, with an activity for members whilst judging takes place followed by an Awards Ceremony, tea and cakes and lots of chatting.

Article and photos provided by Braintree division.