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