Indiana State Fair - A Palette of Honey

Delicious local honey is usually found during a pleasant drive in the country to visit a local market or roadside stand. But honey found this way offers little diversity of flavor as it comes from within a limited area. I wondered if I could get a wider selection at a state fair. I decided to visit the Indiana State Fair after a close look at their website. I’d also found a reference to a special honey ice cream made by the Indiana Beekeeper’s Association that was rumored to be available there.

As I drove south to the fair, I wondered how much focus would be paid to honey when compared to Indiana’s major agricultural focus of corn, popcorn, peppermint, chickens and ice cream.

As it turned out, even as a relatively small part of Indiana’s overall agricultural focus, it enjoys strong support and prominence because bees provide valuable pollination services, honey is a valued product and from my personal perspective, bees and honey are fun.

The fair was bigger than I’d imagined. It took me quite a while to find the building where the honey competition had been held, but once inside, the display of honey competitors was impressive. The darker honeys are grouped in the amber category and the light honey in the light category.
Honey Competition: Results – Agricultural/Horticulture – Apiary – (unofficial)
Category A (From honey exhibited and for sale at the fair – Cannot enter honey in category B) – Light Extracted Honey
1st – Phillip Juengel
2nd – Tracy Hunter
3rd – Duane Rekeweg
Category A – Amber Extracted Honey
1st – Duane Rekeweg
2nd – Tracy Hunter
3rd – Phillip Juengel
Category A – Chunk Honey, 24 – 1 lb jars
1st – Duane Rekeweg
2nd – Phillip Juengel
3rd – Tracy Hunter
Category A – Creamed Honey, 24 – 1 lb jars
1st – Duane Rekeweg
2nd – Tracy Hunter
3rd – Phillip Juengel
Category B – Light Extracted Honey
1st – John Hopwood
Category B – Amber Extracted Honey
1st – Skip and Luann Wile
2nd – Andrew Cook
Champion (Most total points in category B entries) – Category B
1st – Skip and Luann Wile
Grand Champion (Best single category B entry) – Category B Entry
1st – Skip and Luann Wile

The Indiana Beekeepers’ Association General store had honey and bee products from many beekeepers across the state. Notice the honey ice cream for sale!

The range of honey and bee products was staggering.

The best part of the store was the “try before you buy” free tasting. The range of flavors was impressive!

The ISBA also gave a series of presentations and information about beekeeping of great interest to visitors and future ‘beeks’ (beekeeping slang for ‘beekeepers’).

Tracy Hunter and his son, Ross pose in their booth. Ross is the 4th generation in the family honey business. Offering many different varieties of honey including, alfalfa, basswood, buckwheat, orange blossom, thistle, blueberry, spanish needle, goldenrod, sourwood and watermelon blosssom.

My haul of honey from left to right, mountain sourwood, watermelon blossom, alfalfa, creamed honey, thistle, multifloral and locust! I am still enjoying each and every one.

And the honey ice cream? I bought some pre-made honey but found this recipe over by the beekeeping booth. Let me know what you think!

Reference, Further Reading
Indiana Beekeeper’s Association Facebook
Apiary-Bees Honey Indiana State Fair Competition Rules 2012 (PDF)
Indiana Beekeepers’ Association, Inc.
Hunter Honey Indiana

4 comments to Indiana State Fair – A Palette of Honey

  • Josiah

    Wow, what an amazing experience! Were the honey varieties as diverse as you were expecting? That honey ice-cream sounds good but the directions sound more like a custard than ice-cream. What was it like? Have you tried making it yourself? The directions don’t say anything about freezing or cooling the concoction after it’s heated. Do you know if it’s before or after it thickens? Thanks!


  • I had a great time! I was surprised at the diversity of varieties, however if Hunter Honey hadn’t been showing there the honey would have been almost entirely multifloral honey.

    The ice cream sold there was actually ice cream in consistency. The recipe shown is meant to be used with a traditional ice cream maker. If you look carefully at the end of the honey recipe, the ‘custard’ is then put in the ice cream maker and churned into ice cream.


  • Josiah

    Oh, wow! I didn’t see that last little part. I’ll have to try it sometime! Thanks!

  • A lot of Honey in one place, that’s great.

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