Creston’s very own Jeff Lee and Amanda Goodman Lee, of Honey Bee Zen Apiaries, flew their incredible Kootenay honey to the North American Honey Show (NAHS) in Louisville, Kentucky, and the American Honey Show (AHS) in New Orleans this month. For those not well acquainted with the honey world, these shows are the largest of their kind on the continent and it’s all very serious bees-ness.
The results were nothing short of astonishing! Here is what the couple brought home:
🥇 1st place at AHS
🏅 Best of Show at AHS
🏅 Best in Class at NAHS
As Rick Sutton, the American Honey Show judge, told CBC news: “Their creamed honey was the best I’ve ever judged and tasted. It received a perfect score of 100.”
🥇 1st place at AHS
🏅 Blue ribbon in the “Extra Water White” class (lightest colour class)
Cranberry-Orange Creamed Honey (seasonal):
🥇 1st place for Creamed Infusions at NAHS
Honey Sourdough Bread:
🥇 1st place for Honey Bread Loaves at NAHS
Amanda and Jeff made history, becoming the first Canadians in the long history of AHS to ever take home a Best of Show or a 1st place prize. Best of Show means the best honey in the whole show and first prize means top place in that specific category. Winning isn’t easy, the judging is cut-throat and isn’t solely based on how good the honey tastes. For each entry, 4 jars are supplied and the judges meticulously inspect for imperfections, from fingerprints and dents in the lids, to making sure the fill lines are all equal. Consistency is then scrutinized and any dust, particles or debris floating in the honey will lead to the deduction of points. And finally, the honey is critiqued for its creaminess, smoothness, flavour profile and, of course, overall taste.
During a charity auction for the American Beekeeping Federation, their fireweed honey sold for $335 ($250USD) per jar, the highest ever paid for this class, and their ‘Best of Show’ creamed honey was auctioned off for $870 ($650USD) per jar. Not bad for a jar of honey that is sold at your Co-op for $11.99.
This remarkable accomplishment simply highlights the quality of food that is produced here in our abundant region. Our little community values good quality local food from people who are passionate about what they do and it seems the rest of North America agrees. Amanda and Jeff attribute their winnings to this special place where all their honey is made, here in the Kootenays. Their well deserved success is a combination of the wonderful nectar source they’ve tapped into, a deep passion for what they do and ultimately, their love for the bees!
Click Here and listen to Amanda’s interview on CBC Daybreak with Chris Walker.