Antibiotics ensure that Honey is no longer the nectar of Gods

3 Apr

Collective memory seems to have conveniently omitted the primary functions of honeybees, which is to pollinate and not to produce honey. It is good to remind ourselves that almost a third of global farm output depends on animal pollination, and a large portion of this on honeybees.

Antibiotic in honey

raw honeyGiven the weakness of Apis mellifera’s immune system, industrial agribusinesses need to constantly replenish the antibiotic stocks to keep business going and bees healthy. This simply means that our honey is also increasingly full of antibiotics. According to a study conducted by CSE, most honey brands being sold in India contain varying amounts of antibiotics. Antibiotics are widely used by commercial beekeepers since the introduction of the Apis mellifera specie to India by Punjab Agriculture University.

In China, illegal antibiotics and heavy metal have been found in the honey.

Fake Honey

winny the pooh  3/4 of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News. Most generic brands of honey are usually ultra-filtrated.  This process removes all impurities such as pollen and wax.   Pollen, removed by the ultra-filtration process, is the only way to determine  the source of the honey.  So when the pollen is removed, it can be from anywhere.  Some countries, especially China, have been known to smuggle honey into the United States.   About 80% of the honey available in the Chinese market is fake and manufactured from cane sugar.

That honey you’ve been buying in the Winnie the Pooh jars, NOT real honey either.

High fructose Corn

nectar of gods

Nowadays bees are fed with artificial nectar such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) to produce honey faster. Perhaps the problem is the fact that honey is no longer considered a medicinal product. What was dubbed the ‘Nectar of the Gods’ by the ancient Greeks and Romans is fast becoming an any-time sweetener in our day and age. During winter, because its cheaper, beekeepers, like processed food manufacturers, have moved away from supporting the bees and the baby bees (grubs) with high fructose corn syrup  instead of honey.

So, which honey should you buy?

“Raw honey is thought to have many medicinal properties,” says Kathy Egan, dietitian at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.  “Stomach ailments, anemia and allergies are just a few of the conditions that may be improved by consumption of unprocessed honey”.  The processed, super-market brand that we’ve all become used to is certainly not fit to be our first-choice honey. In our next installment I’ll give you a breakdown of the different types of honey and how to choose the right honey for you and your family.

[Photo credit by emilyyanne.]

[Photo credit by Joelk75]

[Photo credit by nsisson]


One Response to “Antibiotics ensure that Honey is no longer the nectar of Gods”


  1. Your guide to Honey hunting | apianon - July 29, 2013

    […] The processed, super-market brand that we’ve all become used to is certainly not fit to be our first-choice honey. So  what is fit for our consumption? […]

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