Winners, Honey

The beekeepers who produced the area’s best tasting honey were chosen on Wednesday, October 19, at Toe Cane Beekeepers Association’s 6th Annual Mayland Black Jar Honey Contest held at Homeplace Beer Company in downtown Burnsville.

More than 30 judges from the area did a blind taste test of 16 honey entries from beekeepers in Mitchell, Avery and Yancey Counties. It was a hard decision, but there were clear winners and a variety of honey produced from Poplar, Sourwood, Basswood and Locust.

First Place was Ed Geouge, of Blue Rock Apiary, Burnsville, Entry E, with a summer wildflower honey.

Second Place went to Ann and Jim Coomber, of Happy Apple Bees, Burnsville, with a light summer wildflower Entry P.

Third place was a tie between Ed Geouge’s second Entry I, a late summer Sourwood blend; and Knox Petrucci and Alison Wisely of Hearts Relief Apiary in Yancey County with Entry H.

A wonderful turnout of more than 100 honey lovers at Homeplace Beer Co. Money raised will be used by Toe Cane Beekeepers to support volunteer education and outreach to schools and civic clubs to improve understanding of the importance of honey bees and other pollinators.

Other beekeepers entered in the contest included: Royce Tolley of Pensacola, Entry A; Dave Reeder of Hawk Mountain Homestead in Bakersville, Entry B; Susan Spruill of Chestnut Mountain Farm, Little Switzerland, Entry C; Coomber’s second entry D; Rick Harty of Harty Farm, Bakersville, Entry F; Deborah Griffith of Whippoorwill Apiary, Ingalls, Entry G; Sarah and Dalton Kilby of Sugar Creek Apiary in Banner Elk, Entry J; Mary Sheldon of From B2U Apiary in Yancey County, Entry K; Joanne Rebbeck of Watershed Apiary, Madison Country, Entry L; Brinton McKinney of B Lee’s Bees, Burnsville, Entry M; Dave Reeder’s second entry N; Leigh Knott, Five Apple Farm, South Toe, Entry O.

To learn more about honey bees and other pollinators visit the Toe Cane Beekeepers website,–


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