Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Dr. Yong Park, associate professor of agriculture-entomology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, recently took awards in three of four honey categories at the Arkansas Beekeepers Association’s (ABA) honey contest. The event was part of the ABA’s annual meeting held at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View.
Dr. Park won first place in the amber and dark amber categories and second place in the light amber category. The honey was judged on clarity, uniform color, aroma, taste and lack of aeration.
“I’m harvesting honey the traditional way,” Dr. Park said. “Most of the time I harvest manually and I always wait until the honey has ripened.”
Park said the correct amount of moisture content is a determining factor in harvesting good honey, as it influences the honey’s keeping quality and granulation. A honeycomb capped with beeswax indicates ripe honey with the proper level of water content. If the honey is extracted before the comb is fully capped, the honey will be over-saturated with water.
Last year Park won first place, second place and third place in the light amber, dark amber and extra-light categories respectively at the ABA contest. Park has been a member of the ABA for seven years.
In addition to his work with honeybees at the beehives on campus, Dr. Park tends to UAPB Agricultural Research Station hives located in Pine Bluff, Lonoke and Marianna. He founded the Black & Gold Bee Club for interested UAPB students and alumni, and also keeps bees and harvests honey at home.