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Sweet plans for this year’s WA Honey Festival at Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day

It’s the sweetest time of year for WA’s vibrant honey industry, and there’s a buzz surrounding what this year’s popular Honey Festival will bring.

Since 2019, the State’s biggest celebration of honey and the people that produce it has been held at the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day — bringing together beekeepers and honey-themed stalls.

It will be one of two produce festivals held at the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day this year, with plans to hold WA’s inaugural Olive Festival at the same location on the same day.

Each year, the Honey Festival opens up the fascinating world of honey, the complex process involved in producing it and the risks and opportunities the industry is presented with.

It was first held at House of Honey in 2012 and has had a number of homes since then, before moving to the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day in 2019.

Honey Festival organiser Leilani Leyland, who owns Bees Neez based in Beechina near Chidlow, said the event would feature a range of exhibitors, competitions for beekeepers to enter honey and wax products, a honey cake competition, and bee-themed amusement rides.

The Honey Festival coincides with Honey Month, which involves a month of celebrations throughout May and also celebrates World Bee Day on May 20.

The Honey Festival’s annual cake competition has had a makeover this year, with a new open class alongside the traditional Honey Cake category.

Those wanting to enter can bring their wake to the showgrounds between 9am and 11am on the day of the Honey Festival, for judging before the presentation and cooking demonstrations between 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Perth chef Dale Sniffin – who goes by the name of Chef Dale – has the fun task of taste-testing the honey and cakes for the various competitions each year, and said he was looking forward to seeing what creative entries were submitted.

“We want to innovate the use of honey… some people think you can just put it on toast,” he said. “But there are so many amazing ways to cook and bake with honey.”

Chef Dale will be on hand for the whole day of the festival, and will do a cooking demonstration to create a honey and chocolate desert pizza between 11.30am and 1.30pm.

A regular at the festival for nearly a decade, he said many of the popular questions included how pure the honey is, whether there were additives, what the pollen could be used for

“You can create so much out of honey… it truly is a beautiful ingredient,” he said.

Chef Dale said there was something special about the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day, which is attended by people who are “fascinated about where food comes from”.

“It’s all about meeting the beekeepers, and meeting the people getting involved in it,” he said.

WA’s honey and associated products industry is worth up to $50m per year.

The industry employs 1000 beekeepers, 200 people in processing and packing, 200 in retail and 100 in other areas, including research, across the State.

To be a beekeeper in WA, it is a legal requirement to register with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

It is also important for people to check with their local council whether bees can be kept on their property.

You will find the Honey Festival near the Food and Wine pavilion near Gate 3.

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