An experienced couple of beekeepers from a small town near Graz has dominated the provincial honey award ceremony.
The honey harvested by Willibald and Aloisia Klug from Zirknitz – a village located half an hour’s drive southeast of Graz – topped the ranking in six categories at the 16th Styrian Honey Awards.
More than 2,100 samples were handed in by apiarists from all over Styria. A 40-member jury awarded 465 products with a gold certificate while 300 honey samples earned a silver rating.
Overall, no other apiary was more successful than the small business run by Willibald and his wife Aloisia.
Willibald, 71, told broadcaster ORF with a smile: “My wife keeps saying I should stop competing so the others stand a chance too.”
Looking back on how it all started around 40 years ago, the retired carpenter reminisced: “I was working at a construction site when a swarm suddenly approached. I didn’t know anything about bees at that time apart from that swarms won’t sting.
“So I quickly picked up a cardboard box and put the bees inside. I took them to a neighbour who had already engaged in apiculture. Instead of accepting them, he provided me with a hive. And that’s how I got into beekeeping.”