WCBA & Industry News

High fives for honey, mead and photo competition

WCBA’s inaugural NAMPO honey, mead and photo competition in the Overberg town of Bredasdorp received enthusiastic support from both members and the public. There were more than 90 entries in the various honey categories alone!

Riette Van Zyl, the main organiser of the event, said September was an awkward time in the local beekeeping calendar to hold such a competition because it coincides with the pollination season.  But she said beekeepers from all over the Western Cape literally “jumped in” to participate in the competition or assist with the event where they could.

NAMPO is the largest annual agricultural expo held in the Western Cape and was identified by the WCBA as an ideal opportunity to champion our indigenous Cape honeybee and the wide array of delectable honeys they produce.  The organisers of NAMPO welcomed the idea of hosting WCBA and generously waived the fee they usually charge exhibitors.

It was also the first time that the WCBA has incorporated mead and photography in one of its competitions.   Mead seemed a particularly novel product for the public, with many inquisitive visitors drawn to the competition tent in the hope of sampling this alcoholic honey-based drink!

Some first-time competitors showed that they could rival the excellence of some of the more experienced beekeepers by clinching numerous top awards. 

One of the newcomers, Audrey de Jongh (pictured above left with honey judge Reg Morgan), won the trophy for best bottle of liquid honey on the show. She achieved the unimaginable by being awarded the same top scores for both her medium liquid and dark liquid honeys. Reg said he had he had “never come across this in 20 years of judging!”. Audrey, who was placed first in five different categories, said afterwards she felt “like a movie star who had won an Oscar”.

Pieter Loubser (above left) won in multiple categories. He also received the highest overall score.

His colleague, Dawid Rooifontein (below left), notched up the highest score for a development beekeeper. Pieter’s prizes included a two-night stayover at the Garden Route Game Farm and cash prizes for best select honeys, while Dawid received a full bee-suit and gloves from Enduro Workwear, a cash prize and a pack of foundation wax.

Reg and the other top honey judges who presided over the competition lavished praise on the event. Reg said the judges were “delighted with the range of honeys and had their senses wonderfully stimulated”, adding that there were some “world-class entries”.  Elize Lundall-Magnuson said the dedication to beekeeping in the Western Cape “was clearly showing”, while Eddy Lear described the competition as “a wonderful experience”.

The mead competition was won by Hamish Gebers (below), who earned himself a night’s stay at the luxurious Knorhoek Manor in Somerset West and the photo competition by Juliane van Dyk.

Competition regular, Eddy Rubè, who also won a night’s accommodation at Knorhoek Manor, said he believed the NAMPO competition was beneficial for everyone who took part. He said he had “learnt a lot” and had “found new markets” by attending in person.

The WCBA wishes to express its gratitude to all those who contributed towards making the NAMPO competition a success.

We are very appreciative to the honey judges, Reg, Elize and Eddy and Tina, who travelled to the Cape at their own expense, as well as Kristie Payne of Bushveld Bees in KwaZulu-Natal, who was the steward in the honey competition. Kirstie and her husband, Brian, also played a crucial role during the duration of NAMPO by publicising the event on various social media.

We are also most thankful to Dr Ernst Thompson of The Cape Town Meadery for judging the mead competition and all the support he lent WCBA during the event.  Thanks, too, to Ian Thompson who served as the mead steward.

WCBA is most grateful to Tariq Motala who organized the photo competition, and Phillip de Lange, who did the judging.

The public was wowed by the “honey-trees”, expertly built by Pierre Slabber to showcase all the honey entries and their spectacular array of colours.

We greatly appreciate the support and assistance of our colleague from the Southern Cape Bee Industry Association, Andre de Jager and his wife, Elmarie.

A special mention of thanks must be made to Toy Wessels of NAMPO for readily embracing the WCBA event

WCBA is also indebted to the following sponsors of prizes that provided such a great incentive for the competition: Garden Route Game Farm, Lekkerslaap, Knorhoek Manor, Rubè Raw for wax foundation and money for cash prizes, West Coast Honey for some of the cash prizes, Orms, Haven Full Circle Massage, Beau-unique Facial Therapy and three anonymous donors who supplied the floating trophies.

Two WCBA committee members, Pietie De Jager and Herman Brink, secured some of the prizes, as did Tariq Motala for the photo competition.

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