Best Tasting Honey Winner

Sweet Win For Waupaca Bees

Waupaca News

Kent Pegorsch of Dancing Bear Apiary recently won an award for his Waupaca Wildflower honey at the Black Jar Honey Tasting Contest, a competition to identify the best tasting honey in the world. James Card Photo

Local honey ranked world class

By James Card

Kent Pegorsch recently won an award that is the equivalent of the Super Bowl of beekeeping.

Pegorsch is the owner of Dancing Bear Apiary. He submitted his Waupaca Wildflower honey to the Black Jar Honey Tasting Contest organized by the Center for Honeybee Research.

The goal of the contest is to identify the best tasting honey in the world. The contest is named “Black Jar” because all of the honey jars are shrouded in a coded black bag so the judges only focus on taste and not color or clarity.

Each year 500 to 1,000 entries are submitted. Out of those, the judges picked 12 winners and the Waupaca honey was among them.

Other winning honeys came from Spain, South Carolina, Hungary, Alaska, Uruguay, Vermont, Netherlands, Kansas and two from Slovakia. The honey from Spain took the grand prize.

The Waupaca honey Pegorsch submitted won in the Medium Amber category. He entered for the first time the year before and he missed being in final 30 entries.

On Sunday, June 4, Pegorsch was working in his bee yard when he heard the news. Stephanie Slater, a fellow Wisconsin beekeeper and friend, was at the completion and called him.

“I just wanted to be the first to congratulate you that you’re in the finals,” Slater said. Then his cell phone reception cut out. He refreshed his phone over and over again.

Pegorsch was working with his son and they discovered the event was being live streamed online except there was no sound as the winners were being announced.

“It was a very intense day. They later confirmed it on Tuesday. I was a little hard to get along with for two days,” said Pegorsch. “This validates that I do know my honey is a really good tasting honey when competing against honeys from all over the world. That’s the most important thing that I get out of this contest and I will definitely be competing in future years,” he said.

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