2995Re: [beemonitoring] What species of bees make honey?
- Nov 2 10:38 AM
Thanks John,For making me do further research the Meliponini bees. I knew that they made a honey substance, but I didn't know that their honey was collected and actually marketed.As we can see, the definition of "honey" gets into a large discussion as to how we define it and I brought up the definition by the National Honey Board for marketing "honey" in the US as being only from "the honey bee" (Apis). To further this definition for US marketing, the USDA has standards for grading honey as A, B, C, or Substandard based mostly on moisture content; "A" honey must be < 18.6% moisture content and anything >20.0% is considered "Substandard" (B & C grades are in between these levels). Note that there is normally no inspection, but adherence is voluntary. With this definition, the Meliponini honey would be considered "Substandard" and when it gets above 25% moisture content is subject to fermentation and perhaps molds. However, the bees are making and storing the "honey" for their purposes and have no concept of our theft and marketing standards.Clearly the marketing definitions are not the same as the scientific definitions and to me the scientific definition is accurate if you are not labeling and selling the product as "honey" in the US. This is similar to the labeling as fruits vs vegetables in the US…….bureaucracy vs science!I tasted "honey" from Bombus vagans this summer when I inadvertently tore apart a hive they built in a storage box in my backyard and to me it tasted like honey (be tough to collect enough to market though).I will be interested in ordering some of the Meliponini honey when it again becomes available (apparently supplies from one firm that I looked at are out).Thanks to all of the responses to this question from that Julie started as all were informative and interesting.Denny JohnsonOn Oct 31, 2013, at 7:56 PM, John S Ascher wrote:
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