Since you have been a beekeeper, one of the recurring questions you have been asked is how do you know that honey is good, and how do you know where it comes from.
In France, the vast majority of honeys are imported, especially if you do your shopping in supermarkets. This is completely normal since there are around 2,000 professional beekeepers on the territory (4,500 with multi-active), who supply less than 20,000 tonnes of honey per year, while the French consume more of it. If you want to buy raw honey then you can get all the information easily. Get more info about it now.
As long as no real effort is made to save our bees from the ravages of chemistry and the loss of biodiversity, this will not work out. This honey is often heated, mixed, and even sometimes mixed with sugar syrup. CETAM of Lorraine (Center for Technical Apiary Studies in Moselle) has studied the question, and Paul Schweitzer’s observation is clear:
“Each year, we study over 3,500 different honeys. While most of them have compositions that comply with the requirements of the 2003 decree, there is nevertheless tangible evidence of their falsification. Some contain industrial sweet syrup.”
In reality, there are many undetected frauds:
The legislation is obsolete. Thirty years ago, syrups were made from sugar cane or beet and mainly contained sucrose. The decree fixing at 5% maximum the level of sucrose in honey, any addition of syrup was inevitably noticed. Today, the global market has changed. Industrial syrups come from hydrolyzed starch which does not contain a drop of sucrose. Industrialists can abuse it without being exposed.
Of course, you will not know the end of the story on the label, these practices being illegal. You will simply find on the label “Honey originating and not originating “.
Here is an annotation which it informs us a lot: honey has therefore been collected on planet earth , thank you for the precision of the information. In general, these honeys come from Latin America for a part, but very largely they come from China, the largest producer in the world with more than 400,000 tonnes per year. Beekeeping practices on site are not really monitored, which suggests that some are not shy about over-feeding the hives in syrup, and thus making them produce “sugar honey”.
The price is interesting, that’s for sure. But the price of sugar is even more so, no need to clutter your shopping cart with this type of honey. Personally, we would never buy this type of product.
Honey from the EC
Then we will find the best Honey. This usually comes from Eastern Europe and Spain, countries which are selling off their honey production. The problem is that these honeys are often mixtures, and you will therefore not know at all what is in the pot, how and where it was produced. On field crops and their lot of pesticides, often.