As the show is to be a competition, it is fundamental that all exhibitors know in advance the judging criteria for each class and follow the rules herein.
The Honey Show judging criteria are designed to reflect the skill of the exhibitor. Items over which the exhibitor has no direct control will be de-emphasized. For example, natural flavor or color of honey will not affect scoring, but alteration of either color or flavor in handling or preparation of the entry by the beekeeper will adversely affect the score. Likewise, manufacturing defects in glass jars and bottles will not affect scoring, but scratches, chips, or other handling damage on entry containers will adversely affect the score. Within reason, smudges, finger prints and travel dust will not affect the score until the VBA comes up with a sensible handling plan for transport and entry into the contest.

Honey Show judges may be professors of apiculture, or students of apiculture under a professional’s supervision, blue-ribbon winners of local, state and/or regional honey shows, or professionals judging in their fields, such as apiculture/honey production or cooking. Judges must completely fill out a score card for each entry. If an entry is disqualified, the reason for disqualification must be stated on the score card.

Judges should make comments on score cards in order to help the exhibitor improve. Judges must break all ties. Score cards are the property of the exhibitor. Entries are the property of the Vermont Farm Show.


1. All exhibitors MUST BE current dues-paying members of the Vermont Beekeepers Association.
2. Only one entry in each class may be made by an individual or that individual’s family, or that individual’s apiary.
3. At the time of entering, the stewards will place a small label, with the exhibitor’s number and class, inconspicuously on the entry. The purpose of these small randomly numbered labels is to keep track of entries.
4. Separate section or class rules will apply.
5. Identifying labels on the entries are forbidden.
6. The exhibitor must choose into which classes to place entries. Judges may adjust classes at their discretion.
7. Entries can only be made during the hours published.
8. The decision of the judges in all cases will be final.
9. Entries will not be accepted by mail.
10. The Show Superintendent has the authority to accept, reject and classify entries in accordance with the show policies, rules and judging criteria.
11. Any exhibitor wishing to protest must do so to the Show Superintendent within one hour of the public opening of the show.

2020 Honey Show 

120** One comb, section or cut
121* One, 1-lb jar of honey, extracted, light
122* One, 1-lb jar of honey, extracted, amber
123* One, 1-lb jar of honey, extracted, dark
124* One, 1-lb. jar of chunk honey
125* One, 1-lb jar of creamed honey
126*** One, opaque glass or ceramic jar containing any color of honey.

Color Classification
Two methods can be used when deciding into which extracted honey class your entries belong. The Pfund method uses a color scale available from bee supply houses. It is the most accurate method for determining honey color. While the most accurate, it is also the most costly and the least available to most beekeepers. For that reason, honey shows in the UK use colored glass squares. Rather than many colored slides, the grading glass system only requires two colored glass squares; one lighter and one darker.
​Honey entries as light as or lighter than the light glass are classified as light.
Honey entries darker than the light glass but the same or lighter than the dark glass are classified as amber.
Honey entries darker than the dark glass are classified as dark.

Pfund Value

Light Class: 

  • Water White 8 or less

  • Extra White 9-17

  • White 18-34

Amber Class: 

  • Extra Light Amber 35-50

  • Light Amber 51-85

  • Amber: 86-115

Dark Class: 

  • Dark 0ver 114

Honey Show Rules

1. Entries in class 120 marked **, must be in the appropriate container: window cartons; round section lids – both sides transparent; cut-comb box – all sides transparent.
2. Entries in classes 121-123 marked *, must be in queenline or Gamber type jars, and may have plain metal or plastic lids.
3. Entries in classes 124-125, marked *, should be in cylindrical jars.
5. Honey color classes 121-123, will be determined by the show chairman. An official honey color grader may be used to make the final decision.
6. Entries in class 126, marked ***, must be in opaque glass or ceramic jar containing any color of honey.
7. All entries must be the product of the exhibitor’s apiary and have been produced since the previous show.


Comb Honey

Class: 120 MAX. POINTS 100
1. Uniformity of appearance 20
2. Absence of uncapped cells 10
3. Uniformity of color 15
4. Absence of watery cappings 10
5. Cleanliness and absence of travel stains 15
6. Freedom from granulation and pollen 10
7. Uniform weight of each section 10
8. Total weight of entry 10

Extracted Honey

Classes 121-123, MAX. POINTS 100
1. Density 20 (water content above 18.6% & below 15.5% will be disqualified)
2. Absence of crystals 7
3. Cleanliness 30 total (Without lint – 7; without dirt –10; without wax – 7; without foam - 6)
4. Flavor 8 (Points will be reduced ONLY for honey flavor adversely effected by processing)
5. Color 5
6. Container appearance 10
7. Accuracy/Uniformity of filling 20 (Headroom: ½ inch maximum, 3/8 inch minimum with no gap between honey level and cap)

Chunk Honey

Class: 124 MAX. POINTS 100
1. Neatness and uniformity of cut 20 (Upgrade for parallel & 4-sided cuts; downgrade for ragged edges)
2. Absence of watery cappings, uncapped cells and pollen 20
3. Cleanliness of product 20 (Down-grade for travel stains, foreign matter, wax, foam or crystallization)
4. Uniformity of appearance in capping structure, color, thickness of chunks and accuracy and uniformity of fill 20
5. Density and flavor of liquid portion of pack 20 (Entries will be disqualified for fermentation or moisture content of liquid portion above 18.6% & below 15.5%)

Creamed Honey

Class: 125 MAX. POINTS 100
1. Fineness of crystals 30
2. Uniformity & firmness of product 25
3. Cleanliness & freedom from foam 20
4. Flavor 15 (Points will be reduced for honey flavor adversely affected by processing). (Disqualified for fermentation)
5. Accuracy of filling and uniformity 10
Black Jar Class: 126 MAX. POINTS 100
1. To be judged solely on the merits of its taste


Class Description Class: 127
1. At least 25% of sweetening agent must be honey.
2. Entries must be accompanied by the recipe as used, printed on 3x5” cards in duplicate, without the name of the exhibitor.
3. VBA reserves the right to publish the recipes.
4. Entries must be presented on plain paper or foam plates, in dome top cake carriers, or on cardboard covered with foil. Plates and covers will not be furnished by the Show Committee.
5. Enter all cakes, pies, breads, rolls and muffins un-sliced.

Class 127: MAX. POINTS 100
General Appearance 20
Flavor 35
Texture, grain, moisture, uniformity of color 25
Handling quality in serving 20

All products must be delivered to attendants between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Champlain Valley Exposition site (Blue Ribbon Pavillion).
For further information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.