SC Welsh Honey Judging Academy

We are happy to announce that training and certification for honey show judges will be held coinciding with the spring and summer SCBA meetings. We will be teaching the time-honored tradition of the Welsh system of training which is one of the most stringent of its kind in the world for aspiring honey judges.  Our instructors are ready to share their knowledge and expertise to teach you how to judge honey and wax classes, as well as some of the newer classes that are gaining popularity such as baked goods or craft categories. This fun and informative beginning track class is designed for training judges but also give you the confidence to be a winner if you just want to learn how to compete and prepare your honey show entries from a judge’s viewpoint.

There are three levels in the South Carolina Welsh Honey Judge (WHJ) program:   The first is WHJ Trainee where you will receive your steward’s white jacket and will serve as steward to experienced judges and compete in honey shows to earn show points over the next year. Next, is WHJ and at this level you have the ability to judge some classes and gain more experience working with other judges and honey shows. And finally, the last level is Senior WHJ.   One can become a WHJ in one year. It takes at least one additional year to achieve the rank of Senior WHJ, although candidates for both levels may proceed through the certification process at their own pace. There is no time limit for the completion of the program requirements. There is an additional fee of $65 at registration for this class and will be your focus for the entire day.

There are three levels in the program: Level 1 – Honey Judge Trainee, Level 2 – Honey Judge, and Level 3 – Senior Honey Judge. Below are the requirements for each level, a summary of which are found in Appendix A. The requirements for a given level can be completed simultaneously and in any order except where otherwise noted.  Candidates for all levels may proceed through the certification process at their own pace. There is no time limit for the completion of the program requirements.

To become a Honey Judge Trainee, one must participate in introductory Honey Judge training at a SCBA event. The training includes hands-on practice in “Preparing, Showing, Exhibiting, and Judging Bee Produce for the Show Bench”.

  • Participate in introductory Honey Judge training.

Individuals must complete the six requirements listed below prior to becoming a certified Welsh Honey Judge. Requirements numbered one through five below must be completed before the Final Exam (Requirement 6) is taken

     1) Become a Honey Judge Trainee (see Section A).

   2) Steward three honey shows under three different Honey Judges.

The Honey Judge Trainee must document their experience as a honey show steward at a minimum of three honey shows, each under the guidance of a different Honey Judge or Senior Honey Judge. Guidelines for stewards can be found in Appendix B. Opportunities for stewarding may be available at the SCBA Honey Shows. Please note that stewarding opportunities may be limited at these shows. A Honey Judge Trainee may be invited to steward a honey show or may self-initiate a honey show and volunteer to steward. If a Honey Judge Trainee elects to do this, they must obtain approval from the SC Welsh Honey Judging Training Program administrator. The Honey Judge Trainee must notify the Program administrator when stewarding a show other than SCBA Honey Shows prior to serving as a steward. SCWHJs and honey show stewards must wear proper SCWHJ attire (Appendix C). All stewarding activities should be documented in the SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence (see SCWHJ Requirement 4).

3) Earn 50 exhibiting points by showing items in honey shows.

The Honey Judge Trainee must earn a minimum of 50 exhibiting points, which are accumulated by winning ribbons or prize cards at any SCBA Honey Show or other honey shows as approved by the SC Welsh Honey Judging Training Program administrators. See Appendix D for how points are awarded.

4) Develop a SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence.

Honey Judge Trainees are encouraged to participate in as many organized honey shows as possible, both as a steward and as an exhibitor. This participation should include exhibiting honey and hive products, stewarding larger shows, etc.

Documentation of all honey show activities should be displayed professionally in a SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence (e.g. organized by date in a three-ring binder or electronically with associated pieces of evidence). Each activity must be documented with 1) a completed Documentation of Participation form (Appendix E) and 2) one additional Documentation of Evidence (e.g. an invitation from the honey show secretary, copies of prize cards, ribbons awarded, etc.). All evidence must carry a signature of authenticity from the show secretary or other show officer.

The first page of the SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence should be a Portfolio of Evidence Cover Page (Appendix F) which is a compiled list of the Candidate’s achievements and activities. The SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence will be presented and reviewed during the Oral Exam process (see SCWHJ Requirement 6).

5) Assemble a SCWHJ Judging Kit.

All Candidates must assemble a SCWHJ Judging Kit. The kit must include certain items (Appendix G) that are important for judging honey. The Candidate must present the kit to the Senior SCWHJ examiner during his/her Oral Exam (see SCWHJ Requirement 6).

6) Take and pass the SCWHJ Final Examination.

Candidates who have completed requirements 1-5 of the SCWHJ level (Level 2) will be eligible to take the SCWHJ Final Examination during a SCBA Honey Show. The Final Exam is composed of two parts:

  • Oral Exam: A Senior Welsh HJ will question the Candidate who must exhibit competency and understanding of the principals of Welsh Honey Judging system. During this exam, the Candidate will present his/her SCWHJ Judging Kit and must be able to state when and how each item is to be used in a honey show. Candidates will be penalized if any items (Appendix G) are missing from their SCWHJ Judging Kit upon examination.

Practical Training Assessment (PTA):  The candidate will judge 3 different classes at a SCBA Honey Show while being observed by a Senior Judge.

Candidates must register for the Final Examination and pay any additional fees associated with the exam. These exams are offered only at SCBA Honey Shows.

Candidates successfully completing all of the required steps will become certified SCWHJs. New SCWHJs will be awarded a White Trilby Hat, a white coat, a South Carolina Honey Judge patch, and an official certificate.

Individuals must complete seven requirements prior to becoming a Senior SCWHJ. Requirements numbered one through six below must be completed before the Final Examination (Senior SCWHJ Requirement 7) is taken.

  • Become a SCWHJ (see Section B).
  • Participate in advanced SCWHJ training.

To become a Senior SCWHJ, one must participate in advanced SCWHJ training courses. The training, developed to refine the skills of experienced SCWHJ s, can only be provided by a  Senior WHJ.

  • Judge three honey shows under three different Senior WHJs.

The SCWHJ must document their experience as a honey show judge at a minimum of three honey shows, each under the guidance of a different Welsh Honey Judge or Senior Welsh Honey Judge.

  • Earn 75 exhibiting points by showing items in honey show(s).

The SCWHJ must earn a minimum of 75 exhibiting points, which are accumulated by winning ribbons or prize cards at any SCBA Honey Show or other honey shows as approved by the SC Welsh Honey Judging Training Program administrators. See Appendix D for how points are awarded.

  • Serve as Show Secretary for two separate honey shows under two different WHJs.

Senior SCWHJ Candidates must document their experience as a honey show secretary at a minimum of two honey shows, each under the guidance of a different Senior WHJ.  Opportunities for serving as a show secretary may be available for SCBA honey shows. Opportunities for serving as a show secretary may also be available at YHBI, UFBC, or INIB honey shows. Please be aware that reservations can be limited for serving as a show secretary.  All show secretary activities should be documented in the candidate’s Senior SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence (see Step 6).

  • Develop a Senior SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence.

Documentation of all honey show activities should be displayed professionally in a Senior SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence (e.g. organized by date in a three-ring binder or electronically with associated pieces of evidence). Each activity must be documented with 1) a completed Documentation of Participation form (Appendix E) and 2) one additional Documentation of Evidence (e.g. an invitation from the honey show secretary, copies of prize cards, ribbons awarded, etc.). All evidence must carry a signature of authenticity from the show secretary or other show officer.

The first page of the Senior SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence should be a Portfolio of Evidence Cover   Page (Appendix F) which is a compiled list of the Candidate’s achievements and activities. The Senior SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence will be presented and reviewed during the Oral Exam process (see SCWHJ Requirement 6).

7)  Critique five personal exhibits.

The SCWHJ must assemble five honey and hive product exhibits (produced by the SCWHJ) chosen from the list in Appendix H without repeats (e.g. two of the five items cannot be liquid honey). The WHJ must then write a critique (maximum of one page per critique) of each exhibit. These critiques must note any faults or problems that the WHJ observes with their own exhibits. Each critique will be worth 100 points and individuals will lose points for any faults that the SCWHJ does not recognize in their written critiques. The individual must send their critiques by post or e-mail to the Chief Examiner at least one week prior to the examination. Contact the hosting organization of the honey show to reach the Chief Examiner. These five exhibits and critiques will be examined and discussed during the Senior SCWHJ Oral Exam (see Step 8).

A passing mark for an exhibit is 80 points or higher.

8)  Take and pass the final examination.

SCWHJs who have completed steps 1-6 of the Senior SCWHJ level will be eligible to take the Senior SCWHJ final examination. SCWHJs testing for the Senior SCWHJ level will be examined by two or more certified Senior WHJ examiners. Individuals testing for the Senior level must wear the official SCWHJ attire (Appendix C). The final exam is made up of three parts:

  • Submission of exhibits: Individuals who are taking the final exam for the Senior SCWHJ, must submit three of the five exhibits for which they wrote critiques (see Senior WHJ –Step 7) to the exam committee for inspection and review.
  • Oral Exam: A Senior WHJ will question the SCWHJ who must exhibit competency and understanding of the principals of Welsh honey judging. During this exam, the SCWHJ will present their SCWHJ Judging Kit and must be able to state when and how each item is to be used in a honey show. Individuals will be penalized if any items are missing from their SCWHJ Judging Kit (Appendix G) at this time or if they are not wearing the complete SCWHJ attire (Appendix C). Additionally, the SCWHJ’s five critiqued exhibits will be reviewed and discussed. A cross-section of topics will be covered during the Oral Exam to confirm the SCWHJ’s knowledge of the whole range of bee products and bee related exhibits from across the show bench.
  • Practical Training Assessment (PTA): During the PTA, individuals testing to become a Senior SCWHJ will be asked to judge honey and hive products; these exhibits may include, but are not limited to, the exhibits listed in Appendix G. Furthermore, individuals may be asked to explain any faults, provide any positive remarks, and complete the judging process for any submitted exhibit. The examiners are free to ask questions related to judging Welsh honey shows and about honey and hive products in general.

Candidates must register for the final exam and this may incur additional fees.

These eight steps can be completed at the candidate’s own pace. Upon successful completion, the candidates will be certified as a Senior SCWHJ.

Senior WHJs hold the highest rank in the Welsh Honey Judging system and are expected to serve as leaders and standard bearers for judging honey and hive products in the USA.

The SC Welsh Judging Academy program recognizes judges in good standing from the following honey judging programs.

– Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers

– The University of Georgia Young Harris Beekeeping Institute

– The UF/IFAS Honey Judge Program

– Alabama Honey Judging Program

Any person who wishes to participate in an SCWHJ sanctioned show as a judge, steward, or secretary will be required to provide verification of good standing from their respective program.

Program Level Level Requirements Minimum time to complete level
South Carolina

Welsh Honey Judge Candidate (Level 1)

1) Participate in introductory SCWHJ training. n/a
South Carolina

Welsh Honey Judge (Level 2)

1) Achieve the level of SCWHJ Candidate. 1 year
2) Steward three honey shows under three different WHJs.
3) Earn 50 exhibiting points by showing items in honey shows.
4) Develop a SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence.
5) Assemble and present a Judging Kit.
6) Take and pass the SCWHJ Final Examination.
South Carolina

Senior Welsh Honey Judge (Level 3)

1) Achieve the level of SCWHJ. 2 years
2) Participate in advanced SCWHJ training.
3) Judge three honey shows under or alongside three different WHJs.

 

4) Earn 75 exhibiting points by showing items in honey shows.

5) Serve as Show Secretary at two different honey shows.
6) Develop a Senior SCWHJ Portfolio of Evidence.
7) Critique five personal exhibits.
8) Take and pass the Senior SCWHJ Final Examination.

Stewarding duties at any honey show must be performed with utmost care and attention. The steward should be available at all times during the show and be in complete contact with the honey show manager and secretary. The honey show manager will assign each steward to a judge for the show.

The main responsibility of a honey show steward is to facilitate and support his/her assigned judge throughout the show. This is accomplished through the following tasks:

  1. Help the honey show manager set up the honey show.
  2. Accept exhibitors’ entrants and place them on the correct show bench for showing.
  3. Ensure that each exhibit is placed in the correct class for judging.
  4. Make sure the judge has a stable table with a chair, one tumbler half filled with warm water, and a small bowl with warm water in which the judge can clean his/her fingers after tasting honey.
  5. Make the judge aware of double entries (i.e. exhibitors with multiple entries in one class) before he/she judges the class.
  6. When the judge is judging honey for taste, make sure that his/her tasting rods are cleaned, wiped dry, and placed in the judge’s clean tumbler.
  7. If the judge is embarking on a class in which you personally have entered an exhibit, make sure that this is known to the judge. Ask the judge if he/she would like you to step back until the judging of that class is completed.
  8. Ensure that all cake exhibits are covered and placed in the correct position on the show bench.
  9. Make sure that the items needed for judging are available (e.g. food gloves, scales, and cling film if required).
  10. As the judge calls out winning numbers, write them down on the judge’s feedback sheet. Hand the sheet and prize cards to the judge for signing only.
  11. Collect and return the judge’s signed feedback sheet and prize cards to the class envelope. Return the envelope to the show secretary.
  12. Make sure that winning exhibits, after being judged, are returned to the show bench and are displayed in the correct order with their prize cards.
  13. When judging is completed, make sure that the show benches are clean and that all equipment is returned to the show secretary.

Additional advice for honey show stewards:

  1. Study the rules and regulations before the show.
  2. Arrive at the show in advance of the show and be aware of the classes in the show. This will enable you to show the judge where the products are being staged.
  3. Have a show schedule available and be aware of which classes your assigned judge is responsible for in the show, particularly if there is more than one judge.
  4. Always carry a pencil and a pen with you at all times.
  5. When the judge is judging an exhibit, under no circumstance should the steward make any remark unless asked to by the judge.
  6. Treat all remarks made by the judge and other stewards during judging as purely confidential.

Senior WHJs, WHJs, and WHJ Candidates must wear a white food trilby style hat (Figure 1) and a white food coat (Figure 2). Everyone should take care to dress in a professional manner under the official judge’s attire.

Figure-1-A-Senior-WHJ-wears-a-white-trilby-hat.

 

Figure-2-New-WHJ-Candidates-and-WHJs-wear-white-food-coats.

Table 1: WHJs and WHJ Candidates receive exhibition points for winning exhibits in a honey show.

 

Place Card or Ribbon Exhibition Points
First 6 points
Second 5 points
Third 4 points
Fourth (Very Highly Commended) 3 points
Fifth (Highly Commended) 2 points
Sixth (Commendable) 1 point

*Best in Show honors will receive an additional 6 points

 (In addition to the points awarded for First Place.)

Turn in completed forms on the day of your WHJ or Senior WHJ Final Examination. This form is to be completed with assistance from the WHJ or WHJ Candidate listed below and signed by a representative from the organization sponsoring/hosting the event.

 

______________________      _______________________      ______________________________

First Name                                                 Last Name                                                    Email Address

 

 

Program level for which you are testing (circle one):

 

___ Welsh Honey Judge                         ___ Senior Welsh Honey Judge

 

 

SC Welsh Judging Academy/University of Florida/ University of Georgia/AMBS Welsh Honey Judge Program

 

On this date(s):__________________, (name) __________________________ a candidate for advancement in the Welsh Honey Judge Program, participated in a Honey Show.

Show name: _____________________________________________________________________

Sponsoring institution: ______________________________________________________________ Total number of exhibitors present: _________________

Total number of exhibits entered: ___________________

 

Candidate’s role in honey show: (circle all that apply)

steward            judge      senior judge     head judge     manager           secretary         exhibitor

 

Candidate exhibition tally

Class entered (no. & description) prize won points earned

 

Printed name and title of representative/witness: ________________________________________

 

Signature of representative/witness: __________________________________________________

 

Signee contact information: Phone ___________________________________________________

 

Email __________________________________________________

Turn in this completed form on the day of your WHJ or Senior WHJ Final Examination.

 

___________________________ ___________________________________ ______________________________________

First Name                                  Last Name                                  Email Address

 

 

Program level for which you are testing (circle one):

 

Welsh Honey Judge        Senior Welsh Honey Judge

 

 

 

 

 

Date of WHJ training (for this level): _____________________________

 

 

Location/event of WHJ training: _________________________________

 

 

 

 

Number of honey shows served as a steward
Number of honey shows judged
Number of points collected from honey show entries

 

 

 

Other evidence gathered: ________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Below is a list of items needed to complete the WHJ Judging Kit. Items should be organized in a doctor’s bag or a small carrying case.

For Judging Mead

  • At least three goblet glasses for tasting
  • A corkscrew
  • A hydrometer

For Judging Bee Products

  • INIB Standardized Grading Glasses
  • A torch (aka high-lumen light)
  • five honey tasting rods
  • two tumblers (flat-bottomed drinking glasses)
  • finger bowl
  • lint/powder-free gloves
  • notebook
  • pencil and pen
  • magnifying glass
  • A small hand towel
  • A damp cloth in plastic bag
  • 6-inch rule
  • tape measurer at least 72 inches long
  • cake knife
  • penknife (small folding pocket knife)
  • scissors
  • box of matches
  • tissues and bacterial wipes
  • honey refractometer (to measure moisture)
  • flat table scale
  • small spring scale
  • piece of string (3ft long)
  • an apple
  • dry crackers

Below is a list of the exhibit classes for exhibiting points and exhibit critiques from which WHJs can choose when testing for the Senior WHJ level:

  • Liquid Honey
  • Granulated, Soft Set or Creamed Honey
  • Frame of Honey Suitable for Extraction
  • Cut Comb and Sections
  • Mead
  • Wax
  • Candles
  • Displays
  • Honey Cakes and Honey Sweetmeats
  • Slides and Photographs
  • Observation Hives
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