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2789Re: Honey adulterants

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  • pollinator2001
    Jul 4, 2013
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      --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Joe Franke <sapogordoeco@...> wrote:

      > Do any of you think that this is a conceivable scenario? Any references to
      > honey adulteration practices, news stories, arrest reports, etc. would be
      > much appreciated, as my experiences in Belize and elsewhere have gotten me
      > interested in a bit of muckraking on the issue.

      The bulk of the Chinese honey is so ultra processed that it no longer fits the legal definition of honey, though, AFAIK, no enforcement actions are being taken.

      When honey is so processed that there can be no determination of floral source by pollen analysis, what is to stop adulteration?

      > Overall, I find it ironic that world demand for honey is at an all time high
      > while honeybee populations are simultaneously in steep decline, which is
      > leading to increased reports of adulterating supply.

      I am highly skeptical that honey bee populations are in steep decline. For one, I know that the USDA statistical counts are highly questionable - only hives that produce honey are counted, and those that are used exclusively for pollination contracts are not. Plus there has been an explosion of new hobby beekeepers, whose bees probably are not counted. So don't necessarily believe the media hype.

      Many of the media report 30% losses over winter. That's a bit higher than normal, but the industry can sustain those kinds of loses, as long as the business is profitable, because they are easily replaced. Southern and migratory beekeepers have geared up to replace 30% or even higher losses in the North, if necessary.

      My observation is that native, or wild bees are declining faster than honey bees. They have few human defenders, and no help at all to recover when pesticides are misused.

      I have fruit trees that used to be humming with hundreds of wild bees when they bloomed. Now I have to look for a while to find two or three wild bees. I have provided housing and mud for mason bees, and yet this did not see a single one on my apples.

      I was pleased during a break in the rain yesterday, to see the first Megachilid bee on my Echinacea, and today the first Melissodes and a tiny Ceratina. These are in full and hearty bloom, and should be covered with a variety of bees by now. Mostly what I see is skippers and a few honey bees.

      Dave Green
      Retired pollination contractor
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