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Honey Colour Grades?


I will be entering two jars of honey into the Royal Show this year. I entered one into the ‘medium amber’ mixed flora category…

Now they are jarred up I am wondering if they are medium or dark- my guess is medium if at the darker end of that range. However I am not totally sure- Im probably worrying for nothing- but what do you think:

BTW- this batch of honey is EXCEPTIONAL! I truly believe it is something extraordinary. It is thick like molasses- very low water content 15.8%. It has a distinct citrus tang too.


That’s a hard one. My guess is the low end of medium.

The Pfund scale of honey is the only true colour scale in Australia. https://sizes.com/units/pfund_scale.htm

This gives you an idea of different honey grades.https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/bees/hive-management/honey-grades.


Last season my first harvest had a “lemon” flavour, I did a bit of research but all I could find was the Lemon scented gums down on War Memorial drive. however I still do not know if “lemon scented” translates to “lemon flavoured” in the nectar


Plenty of actual citrus trees in prospect- and this year has been an absolute bumper year for citrus. It’s a mystery what our bees eat- so much diversity in all the suburban gardens. When I harvested the jars above there had been a lot of jacaranda in full bloom- but a honey expert tried mine and said ‘definitely not’ jacaranda…


I agree with @busso, honey colours are tricky, I would say yours is probably closer to light. The problem is that we are looking at a full jar. The honey judges look at a shallow clear dish. So your honey will probably be much lighter than you think on the colour scale :blush:


Do judges use grading glasses in the USA?


I can’t be sure… but I have a feeling that here they place the jars in front of a light on a special stand… one of the judges demonstrated that at the bee society… we have to use regulation jars too- all contestants the same 375ml… this year I’m putting in raw honey- and Mum creamed and candied. All flow frame honey. I’ll post the results here :sunglasses:


Here is Rusty Burlew’s description of how it should be done:

However, on the few occasions when I have seen it here, this is what they tend to use:

I have never seen anyone pull out one of these: :blush:


Hilarious :joy:


Good luck :slight_smile: Let us know how you go. We have already had some winners with Flow Honey :honeybee: :shamrock:
I think your honey is medium - light from looking at it in the photo…


Hi Jack.
Thinking of entering my honey at a honey show.
Got some cool raw 16% honey, and some others.

Is filtering a good idea?

How did you determine your honey Colour on the Pfund scale?
I remember you asked same at the time, but reckon you may have some more resources by now.
Our family would appreciate any lead or advice.
Thanks for any advice at all.


As a side question…can anyone help with a source for the ‘standard trade jars’ as required by the judges? White lid and so on? Thanks all


Cospak or Plasdene in Australia…


Basic filtering won’t hurt- that’s for sure. If they see a particle in there- you will likely get marked down. Same goes for the lids- they look on the underside and don’t want to see any honey or fingerprints! You also want to fill the jar until where the lid threads start- not above and not below!

As to the colour we just pretty much guessed and went with common sense- most all of our honey is medium amber.

The standard jar here in SA was one of those 375 ml round with white lid.


That’s great advice Jack. Wouldn’t have guessed about the lid.
I suppose you mean the lower part of the thread?


The ‘bubble’ test kills my winning chances every time… so now I only enter liquid for the sheer hell of it… but get serious with the honeycomb, creamed and wax
We need a new category for honey… thick honey and runny honey? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Hi @Rodderick.
What’s the dreaded bubble test? Bubbles in honey?
How do they test for bubbles?
You don’t mean fermenting honey? Honey champagne?
I see great advice coming up!


the jar is inverted and the bubble that rises the slowest to the top gets top marks… as my hives are all coastal, I have no chance… at one of the recent competitions, a fellow beekeeper entered some honey where the bubble took 26 second to rise to the top, it was honey from western NSW and alas took out first prize… :sob:


Can you explain? I’ve never heard of that, but then I don’t show my honey.
Here in the UK judges use grading glasses which used to be glass colour slides but are now plastic


It’s a colour grading chart @Dee, very subjective for the judges, they can choose to adhere to it or just use there rough eye… i.e. close enough is good enough. Some honey shows have electronic colour measuring equipment.