London Honey Show 2014: part 2, Judy Earl

Judy Earl

Judy Earl

Our first speaker at the London Honey Show was Judy Earl, who is a master at turning hive products into something beautiful, useful or tasty. Judy has been beekeeping 10 years and has 12 hives in Harrow (northwest London). I was amazed to find that she knew me when I approached her table of goodies, as she reads this blog! Hello Judy!

She had a mind blowing number of hand-made things on show – beeswax & honey soap, body butter, wax crayons, candles, wax chocolates and wax biscuits to name a few.


Display by Judy Earl

Can you believe these aren’t edible? Judy should be working at Madame Tussaud’s! Several British classic biscuits replicated in all their glory here – the Jammie Dodger, the Custard Cream, Scottish Shortbread and the chocolate Bourbon. I have forgotten the name of the round chocolate sandwich biscuit.

Wax biscuits by Judy Earl

Wax biscuits by Judy Earl

The shine and precision of these ‘chocolates’ is astounding too. Really wish Judy could take my Module 2 exam on bee products for me.

Wax chocolates by Judy Earl

Wax chocolates by Judy Earl

In her talk she gave us plenty of ideas for creative things to do with our honey and wax, here are just a few of the ones I jotted down…

Medicinal uses

Judy was brought up on a honey & cider vinegar mix when she had colds. She uses a honey & chilli rub for aching muscles. She’s made a honey & garlic chest rub before too, though she admitted that didn’t smell too good!

Beauty products

Honey & yoghurt makes a great face mask, but don’t put it on and get in the bath, as the honey melts and stings your eyes!

Lipbalm recipe

6g beeswax – cappings wax from untreated supers is generally cleanest.
60g oil – for example, almond, avocado or olive.

Melt the beeswax and mix with the oil.

Food & drink

A nice thing to do with vodka is soak your honey cappings in it for about a month, along with some frozen fruit, to give the vodka a sweet, fruity flavour.

Judy also had a beautiful blackberry honey vinegar on display, which she kindly gave us the recipe for.

Blackberry honey vinegar

600ml white wine vinegar
450g sugar
450g blackberries
225g honey

Put vinegar and blackberries in a big jar. Leave to steep for a week, shaking daily. Strain and bring to the boil, add the sugar and honey, remove from heat and stir till all dissolved. Bottle into a sterilised suitable bottle.

She says “Someone I know made it with damsons this year and that was lovely too. I suspect it would also be good made with blackcurrants and redcurrants … it would make a lovely display of different coloured vinegars.”

Here’s a photo of her honey mustard and the vinegar – I just love its rich red colour.

Honey mustard & Blackberry Honey Vinegar by Judy Earl

Honey mustard & Blackberry Honey Vinegar by Judy Earl

Around your home

100g beeswax
250ml turpentine
Use rough beeswax for this and mix the two together. To make soft polish for leather, add soap flakes.

Judy commented that the hardest part of polish making is finding decent polish tins to put it in!

Emma has done a great post on Judy’s talk and the show in general: The London Honey Show 2014

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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27 Responses to London Honey Show 2014: part 2, Judy Earl

  1. disperser says:

    It’s none of my beeswax . . .


  2. Jonathan Harding says:

    Emily, while we are on about polish, I recall reading somewhere that the word SINCERE came originally from the Italian marble quarries where defects and cracks were often slyly obscured using beeswax only to manifest themselves later.
    Orders therefore stated that the marble product must be SINCERE (without wax.)
    Yours sincerely,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a shame those chocs aren’t edible!
    Love that explanation of SINCERE from Jonathan, although I know it’s disputed.
    That round biscuit looks a bit like an American Oreo, but maybe not black enough!
    Best wishes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Judy Earl says:

    It is an Oreo!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Of Gardens says:

    What fun…I would love to be able to purchase her wares.


  6. Pingback: When wondering what to do with wax | August Cottage Apiary

  7. Amazing crafting, she must have a lot of patience and perseverance. It would be very satisfying to make such original products. I’ve never moved on from jams and jellies. Amelia


  8. Julie says:

    That box of chocolates looks even better than the real thing! The National Honey Show sounds like beekeeping heaven.


    • Emily Scott says:

      I must go to the National show some time, although some people say the honey gets pretty boring to look at! There are really good lecturers and an exhibition too though. Enjoyed your post about the honey talk you went to – the Italian way of doing things and concentrating more on taste than perfectly sparkling jars sounds better to me.


  9. molly says:

    What inspiring ideas for what people can get up to with their wax! The chocolate bourbon had be drooling, cannot believe it is made from wax.


  10. P&B says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I will try to make the honey vinegar.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. daveloveless says:

    What on earth do you use with the vinegar? That sounds incredible, but I’m wracking my brain to figure out how I can use it. It sounds a lot like a vinegar reduction I had at a cheese plant once. It was so tasty.


  12. theresagreen says:

    Delicious post – so many inspiring products. My grandmother used to make raspberry vinegar that she administered for coughs & colds, honey was added for kids to help the medicine go down. I am also a great advocate of lemon and honey in hot water at the first signs of a sniffle.


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