Local beekeeper wins top award

A BEEKEEPER formerly from Newton Stewart was the buzz of the Royal Highland Show when he was awarded a special prize for his honey.

Jim McColm, who now lives at The Beoch, 6 North Drive, Girvan – who has been keeping bees at his apiary near Newton Stewart for nearly half a century – was shocked and delighted to be named the best exhibitor in the honey classes at this year’s show, which attracted more than 160,000 visitors, despite the rain. His two jars of chunk honey secured him the Iain Steven Perpetual Trophy – presented by the silverware’s namesake himself – after catching the eye of two expert judges.

Mr McColm, a member of Western Galloway Beekeepers Association who moved to Girvan from Newton Stewart eight years ago, is a regular exhibitor at shows in the local area, but last week marked only the third time his honey had appeared at the Royal Highland Show. He had not even planned to attend on prizegiving day, but persuaded by his daughter, Diane, he was surprised to find himself an overall winner.

His produce was also placed highly in five other classes at the Show. He was first in the ‘two jars of light’; second in both ‘two jars of medium’ and ‘six jars for sale in shops’ and third in both ‘two jars of naturally crysallised blossom’ and ‘six jars of different types’.

A proud Jim told The Galloway Gazette that one of the two judges told him his honey was “as near perfect as you can get”.

A keen member of the Western Galloway Beekeepers’ Association, Jim held a demonstration at his apiary near Newton Stewart recently where he demonstrated the production of run and comb honey.

Jim lived at the Beoch Farm near Newton Stewart before moving to Girvan but he still maintains a strong connection to this area.