The traditional Carinthian honey award ceremony took place in Klagenfurt on Saturday, as part of the Carinthian family and customs fair. 270 beekeepers from across the state submitted their honey to be judged by an expert jury. The coveted “Carinthian Bears” for the best honey were awarded to beekeepers in the Völkermarkt, Spittal, Hermagor and Villach Land regions.
The aim of the award is to highlight the high quality and diversity of Carinthian honey and to raise awareness among consumers about the importance of regional and sustainable production. “The results are testament to the passion and commitment of Carinthian beekeeping businesses,” said proud president Elisabeth Thurner at the awards ceremony. This year, approximately 350 samples were evaluated by experienced beekeeping experts. In addition to the laboratory values of the honey, sensory properties such as color, smell, taste and general harmony were also tested.
The 2023 honey year was very different regionally
This year’s bee year has been challenging for many beekeepers. Honey harvest varied greatly from region to region due to the cool spring and storms and floods in the summer months. New honey consultant Nicole Kummer, who chaired the expert jury, explains: “While the bee industry in the Gail and Lesachtal valleys achieved good yields, the harvest in the Lower Carinthia region left much to be desired.” Due to the weather conditions in spring, mostly forest honey was harvested this year, while flower honey flowed in small amounts.
The Carinthia Honey Award is an initiative of the Carinthia State Beekeeping Association, which has been committed to promoting and protecting native bees and beekeeping for decades. With the Carinthian honey quality seal, the quality of local honey can be easily recognized when purchasing, making a significant contribution to the protection of nature and bees in Carinthia.
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