Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated


Image: Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated

In response to all of the fake honey that have been infiltrating the market for the longest time, Spanish researchers have come up with an electronic tongue that can tell the difference. An article in Alpha Galileo reported that the device is inexpensive, is quick to pick up on the presence of adulterated honey, and can even tell you how much fake sweetener is present.

Current methods of determining the authenticity of a honey product requires days of thoroughly analyzing the sample. In comparison, the new device takes just an hour to figure out if the honey is truly pure or has been diluted by scammers.

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) researchers demonstrated the capability of their new device in a test. Their results showed that the electronic tongue can tell between pure honey and the syrups and sugar molasses that are commonly used to dilute the profitable product.

“This leads to noticeable losses for the honey bee sector,” remarked Lara Sobrino. A researcher who works at UPV’s Developmental Food Engineering Institute, she added that the scam not only violates EU laws, it also causes consumers to lose faith in the honey bee sector, which will hurt the industry in the long run. (Related: Understanding the differences between sugars: white, brown, raw, molasses, honey, agave.)

This electronic tongue can tell genuine honey from watered-down fakes

The official name of the device is the “electronic voltammetric tongue.” Its creators described it as an effective and affordable alternative to the bulkier gear used by most scam hunters. It will not only spot the presence of syrups in real honey, but will also determine the percentage of the product that has been compromised.

Mother Nature’s micronutrient secret: Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules now available, delivering 280mg of high-density nutrition, including the extraordinary “sulforaphane” and “glucosinolate” nutrients found only in cruciferous healing foods. Every lot laboratory tested. See availability here.

In the test, the device compared pure honey from heather, orange blossom, and sunflower with dietary syrups made from barley, brown rice, and corn. It successfully differentiated the true honey from the syrups used to fake them.

The electronic tongue is able to clean itself very thoroughly. This reduces the chances of erroneous analysis caused by leftovers from the previous sample.

Finally, it enables statistical analysis of the resulting information. The combination allowed the device to detect any symptoms of fraud in a product.

“Out work offers a pioneering analytical technique that makes it possible to find out quickly and reliably the honey’s authenticity,” said Juan Soto, another UPV researcher from the university’s Molecular Recognition and Technological Development Institute who worked alongside Sobrino. He believed that the electronic tongue offers an answer to suspicions about the purity of honey products.

New device can improve the efficiency of existing methods for hunting fake honey

Members of the honey bee sector can use the UPV detector to ensure the quality of their products, thereby restoring the faith of their customers. They will also be able to catch scammers who are taking advantage of the confusion to make big bucks off gullible consumers.

“If there is the suspicion that a honey could be adulterated, our system detects the symptoms reliably,” Soto said. He also noted that their electronic tongue will work best alongside other detectors as a first line of defense against fakes.

Magnetic resonance detectors are slower and much more expensive than the UPV device. But they can perform in-depth analyses of samples that are beyond the specialized capabilities of the electronic tongue.

Soto believes that his team’s device can screen suspicious samples first. If it catches any fake honey, it can pass the offender over to another identification technique for confirmation.

Developed a taste for the latest news about honey? You can satisfy your craving for more stories at Bees.news.

Sources include:

AlphaGalileo.org

ScienceDirect.com

Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated


Image: Electronic tongue can tell if your honey is adulterated

In response to all of the fake honey that have been infiltrating the market for the longest time, Spanish researchers have come up with an electronic tongue that can tell the difference. An article in Alpha Galileo reported that the device is inexpensive, is quick to pick up on the presence of adulterated honey, and can even tell you how much fake sweetener is present.

Current methods of determining the authenticity of a honey product requires days of thoroughly analyzing the sample. In comparison, the new device takes just an hour to figure out if the honey is truly pure or has been diluted by scammers.

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) researchers demonstrated the capability of their new device in a test. Their results showed that the electronic tongue can tell between pure honey and the syrups and sugar molasses that are commonly used to dilute the profitable product.

“This leads to noticeable losses for the honey bee sector,” remarked Lara Sobrino. A researcher who works at UPV’s Developmental Food Engineering Institute, she added that the scam not only violates EU laws, it also causes consumers to lose faith in the honey bee sector, which will hurt the industry in the long run. (Related: Understanding the differences between sugars: white, brown, raw, molasses, honey, agave.)

This electronic tongue can tell genuine honey from watered-down fakes

The official name of the device is the “electronic voltammetric tongue.” Its creators described it as an effective and affordable alternative to the bulkier gear used by most scam hunters. It will not only spot the presence of syrups in real honey, but will also determine the percentage of the product that has been compromised.

Mother Nature’s micronutrient secret: Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules now available, delivering 280mg of high-density nutrition, including the extraordinary “sulforaphane” and “glucosinolate” nutrients found only in cruciferous healing foods. Every lot laboratory tested. See availability here.

In the test, the device compared pure honey from heather, orange blossom, and sunflower with dietary syrups made from barley, brown rice, and corn. It successfully differentiated the true honey from the syrups used to fake them.

The electronic tongue is able to clean itself very thoroughly. This reduces the chances of erroneous analysis caused by leftovers from the previous sample.

Finally, it enables statistical analysis of the resulting information. The combination allowed the device to detect any symptoms of fraud in a product.

“Out work offers a pioneering analytical technique that makes it possible to find out quickly and reliably the honey’s authenticity,” said Juan Soto, another UPV researcher from the university’s Molecular Recognition and Technological Development Institute who worked alongside Sobrino. He believed that the electronic tongue offers an answer to suspicions about the purity of honey products.

New device can improve the efficiency of existing methods for hunting fake honey

Members of the honey bee sector can use the UPV detector to ensure the quality of their products, thereby restoring the faith of their customers. They will also be able to catch scammers who are taking advantage of the confusion to make big bucks off gullible consumers.

“If there is the suspicion that a honey could be adulterated, our system detects the symptoms reliably,” Soto said. He also noted that their electronic tongue will work best alongside other detectors as a first line of defense against fakes.

Magnetic resonance detectors are slower and much more expensive than the UPV device. But they can perform in-depth analyses of samples that are beyond the specialized capabilities of the electronic tongue.

Soto believes that his team’s device can screen suspicious samples first. If it catches any fake honey, it can pass the offender over to another identification technique for confirmation.

Developed a taste for the latest news about honey? You can satisfy your craving for more stories at Bees.news.

Sources include:

AlphaGalileo.org

ScienceDirect.com

Why You Should Ditch Sugar In Favor of Honey


Why Honey Is Far Better Than Sugar

While honey and sugar share similar degrees of sweetness, the differences in the way our bodies respond to them are profound.

Technically, honey and sugar (sucrose) both exist because they are food for their respective species.

In the case of sugarcane, a member of the the grass family (Poaceae) which includes wheat, maize and rice, sucrose provides energy for its leaves and is an easily transportable source of energy for other parts of the plant, such as the root, that do not produce their own energy.

Honey, of course, is produced by bees from the nectar of flowers solely for the purpose of food.

Beyond this obvious similarity, the differences between honey and sugar, however, are much more profound.

First, honey is a whole food and sucrose is not.  In other words, sucrose is an isolate – technically only one chemical compound – lifted from a background of hundreds of other components within the whole plant, whereas honey is composed of an equally complex array of compounds, many of which are well-known (including macronutrients and micronutrients, enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics, etc.), others whose role is still completely a mystery.

Even the “sugar” in honey, which we might mistakenly equate (due to caloric and nutrient classification equivalencies) to the “sugar” from sugarcane, is a complex mixture of the monosacharrides (one-sugars) glucose and fructose, and at least 25 different oligosaccharides (which are sugars composed of between two to ten monosaccharides linked together), including small amounts of the disacchardide sucrose, as well as trisaccharides (three-sugars) like melezitose and erlose.[i]

Interestingly, if you were to isolate out the fructose from honey, and consume it in isolation in American-size doses (over two ounces a day), it would likely contribute to over 70 fructose-induced adverse health effects; primarily insulin resistance, fatty liver, obesity, hypertension and elevated blood sugar. But place that fructose back into the complex nestled background of nutrient chemistries we call honey, and the fructose loses its monochemical malignancy to our health. Food is the ultimate delivery system for nutrition. Reduce whole foods to parts, and then concentrate and consume them excessively, and you have the recipe for a health disaster that we can see all around us today in the simultaneously overnourished/malnourished masses who still think a ‘calorie is a calorie,’ and a ‘carb is a carb,’ without realizing that the qualitative differences are so profound that one literally heals, while the other literally kills.

But the differences between honey and sugar are not simply based on their respective chemical and nutritional compositions, but also the length of time we humans have had to adapt to them as a source of energy and nourishment.

Honey was the primary concentrated sweetener consumed by humans until after the 1800’s when industrial production of sugarcane-derived sugar was initiated.  While the first written reference to honey is found on a 4,000 year old Sumerian tablet,[ii] and depictions of humans seeking honey have been found in cave paintings at in Spain that are at least 8,000 years old, we can assume that our love affair with the sweet stuff graciously provided by the bee goes back much further, perhaps hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years ago.

bee honey gatherers

8000 year old cave painting from the Araña Caves in Spain.

Regardless of the exact date of its introduction into our diet, from the perspective of evolutionary biology and nutrition, it is clear that our body has had infinitely more time to adapt to honey than sugar.  It is instructive, as well, that sugarcane is in the same grass family whose seeds in the form of “cereal grains” we now consume in such plenty that, arguably, we are now slowly digging our graves with our teeth (particularly, our grain-grinding molars). After all, we have only been consuming them for 10-20,000 years, and in some cases less than 10 generations – a nanosecond in biological time, even if from the lived perspective of a single human lifespan, or even cultural time as a whole, it may seem like “forever.”

For those skeptics who consider this reflection on the differences between honey and sugar mere theory, there is now plenty of clinical research confirming their significant differences.

A double-blind, randomized clinical study titled, “Effect of honey versus sucrose on appetite, appetite-regulating hormones, and postmeal thermogenesis,” published in 2010 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, compared the effects of honey or sugar on appetite hormones (ghrelin, peptide YY) and glycemic and thermic effects after a meal, in 14 healthy, nonobese women.

The researchers found that the group given 450 calorie (kcal) honey in their breakfasts had “A blunted glycemic response may be beneficial for reducing glucose intolerance,” and saw positive modulation of appetite hormones, i.e. delayed the postprandial ghrelin response and enhanced total peptide YY levels.[iii]

Another study published in Journal of Medical Food in 2004, which compared honey to dextrose and sucrose, found that natural honey was capable of lowering plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine in healthy, diabetic and hyperlipidemic subjects.[iv]

Animal research also confirms that, when compared to sucrose, honey is more effective at promoting lower weight gain, adiposity (fat accumulation), and triglycerides.[v]

Healer Bee

Why Consuming Honey Raw Is So Important

Raw honey contains enzymes and probiotics which are destroyed when heated or used in cooking applications.  These compounds are of no small significance and contribute directly or indirectly to honey’s many well-known health benefits.  Take the active starch-digesting enzyme amylase, for instance, found only in the raw form of honey in a form known as diastase, which is believed to contribute to clearing antigen-antibody immune complexes associated with allergies to pollens, while also reducing mast cell degranulation associated with histamine, and related inflammatory hormone, release linked to allergic symptoms. Also, if it is local honey, it will pick up small amount of local pollen which may help to “immunize,” or desensitize an overly active immune response to these environmental triggers. There is also the enzyme in raw honey known as glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid from glucose. The hydrogen peroxide formed as a result of this enzyme is associated with honey’s well-known wound sterilizing and healing properties.

Honey is also rich in prebiotics, as attributed to some of the oligosaccharides already mentioned (e.g. FOS), and probiotics that contribute to supporting the healthy flora in our gut as well.

Recently, in fact, an abundant, diverse and ancient set of beneficial lactic acid bacteria were discovered within the honeybee gut.  Researchers found a collection of 50 novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium from a single insect. Further investigation of these strains indicated that the association between these bees and the bacteria are at least 80 million years old.[vi]  Consuming raw honey, therefore, likely significantly impacts the microbiota within our own gut, and is one way to reconnect to ancient symbiotic relationships with flora that in our modern, sterilized, pasteurized, irradiated, poisoned, cooked, and bleached world, are all but eradicated from our environment, soil, food, and therefore bodies.

Honey’s ability to support the growth of beneficial bacteria was recently demonstrated in a study published in Letters in Applied Microbiology in 2000, where researchers compared the stimulatory effect of honey with sucrose on the multiplication of lactic acid bacteria in in vitro conditions and found “[T]he number of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum counts increased 10-100 fold in the presence of honey compared with sucrose.” Animal feeding of honey to rats also resulted in significant increase in counts of lactic acid bacteria.[vii]

The probiotic-boosting properties of honey may provide an explanation for why it is such an effective anti-infective agent and has been proven to heal many gastrointestinal disorders.

For a full list of honey’s medicinal properties visit our honey health benefits research page. Also, feel free to explore our article on 5 Honey Health Benefits.

A Final Word on The Bee

A full appreciation of honey inevitably leads to a full appreciation of the bee, as well as an awareness of the precarious relationship presently existing between our species. While shallow, the bee’s role in pollination has been estimated to have over several billion dollars of economic value annually. The reality is that we are far more dependent on this insect than it is on us, which is why when we use “pesticides” and various agrichemicals to radically transform the bee’s natural habitat and microbiota, or use antibiotics, feed them high fructose corn syrup, and add other various amendments in its hive, the resulting collapse of immune function, and secondary infections that emerge, we pretend are a novel new disorder whose origins are unknown, i.e. bee colony collapse disorder, much in the same way that we blanket over our own self-poisoning with various idiopathic syndromes that are actually iatrogenic or environmental in origin.

Bee products, including venom, wax, propolis, royal jelly, etc., have been found to provide potential medicinal solutions for over 170 different health conditions (see Bee Products), expressing over 40 distinct beneficial pharmacological actions. This growing body of research should awaken in us greater respect for this sacred insect — even if only for selfish reasons — and when we say sacred, we mean this both entomologically and etymologically, as the word sacred means “to make holy,” and the word holy shares the same root meaning as the words whole and heal.


Resources

  • [ii][ii] Crane E: History of honey. In Crane E (ed):“Honey, A Comprehensive Survey.” London: William Heinemann, pp439– 488,1975 .
  • [iv] Noori S Al-Waili . Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic subjects: comparison with dextrose and sucrose. J Med Food. 2004 ;7(1):100-7. PMID: 15117561

4 At-Home Tests You Can Use To Tell If Your Honey Is From China


The next time you find yourself in the honey aisle of your favorite grocery store, thinking about which honey to buy; the pricey, premium, artisanal honey or the store-brand nectar contained in a plastic bear, you might want to think twice before choosing based on price.

Honey is extremely versatile and it can be used to sweeten tea, glazed on a ham, or drizzled on toast or strawberries. However, its uses go far beyond the kitchen as it works as an antibacterial and antifungal agent, ably regulating blood sugar and even reducing ulcers.

As unbelievable as it sounds, archaeologists have found a 3,000-year-old honey in a tomb which was still edible. But, not all honey is the same, meaning that you need to be extremely cautious when buying some.

According to a recent study, more than 75 percent of store-bought honey was “ultrafiltered”, which removes both impurities and traces of pollen. Although it is pricey and said to improve shelf-life, it turns out that this is far from the truth.

Pollen is the best way to determine the origin of the honey which ultra-filtering actually masks. It is very likely that it comes from China, where honey is cheap and with low quality.

Recently, Chinese honey has become subject to heavy import tariffs due to the presumptions that it is contaminated by heavy metals and illegal antibiotics.

The manufacturers ultra- filter the honey, bring the product in America and mark it as “Made in the USA” and place it on the shelves. It is time to protect yourself from the fake honey no matter of the purpose of use, health benefit or sweetener.

  • The pre- packed honey from KFC and McDonald’s should not be consumed. Also, do not eat “Winnie the Pooh” from Wal- Mart. These samples do not have pollen inside.
  • Sam’s Club, Target ad Costco own 77% of honey without pollen.
  • Always know the source of it. Whenever is possible for you buy local honey.
  • By indigestion pollen, you will also reduce your allergies.

In case you cannot afford it or you are unable to buy local honey, Manuka honey which comes from New Zeland is the only honey, approved by FDA for treating wounds and burns and it is legitimate.

USDA label – does not mean that the honey is pure

You must remember that it doesn’t matter if it is expensive. Sometimes expensive does not mean quality. Usually, substances are introduced by “honey products” or “honey blends”.

A USDA LABEL DOESN’T MEAN YOUR HONEY IS PURE

Contrary to popular belief, the high price doesn’t mean that the honey you are buying is quality and authentic.

Below you have a few tests which can help you determine whether your honey is real or fake:

  1. The match test

Since pure honey is flammable, putting some of it onto a matchstick and lighting it can show whether it is real or fake. If real, it will light easily.

  1. The water test

Adding a tablespoon of honey into a glass filled with water is a reliable test showing whether the honey is pure or fake.  Real honey sinks to the bottom while fake honey dissolves.

  1. The thumb test

Put some honey on the thumb. If the honey stays intact on the thumb, it means that it is pure. On the other hand, if it spread around, it is very likely that it is artificial.

  1. The freezer test

Real honey doesn’t freeze!

Have this concoction for 7 days and see what happens to you.


Garlic and honey may seem like odd ingredients to put together, but combining them results in an impressive immune-boosting substance that will keep your body healthy and strong.

Not only is garlic the perfect choice for adding flavour to a savory recipe, it provides a long list of health benefits thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties. Garlic contains a compound known as allicin, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clotting, and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties and anti-microbial affects.Garlic is low in calories, but high in nutrients, containing Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, selenium and fiber. It’s a natural immune system booster that helps the body fight infection. One study found that a daily dose of garlic reduced the number of colds by 63%, while reducing the average length of cold symptoms by 70%. On the other hand, raw honey is full of antioxidants, along with enzymes and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. It also contains Vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

But raw honey is rich in taste and has a high number of nutritional benefits. It has a healthy glycemic index that aids in better digestion.  The natural vitamins and minerals in raw honey help lower cholesterol levels. Raw honey helps to fuel the body and the mind while making it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Its antibacterial and antioxidant properties make it a great remedy for the immune system!

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/cuGQVRLYNqg

Shock finding: More than 75 percent of all ‘honey’ sold in grocery stores contains no honey at all, by definition (Updated)


Just because those cute little bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store say “honey” on them does not necessarily mean that they actually contain honey. A comprehensive investigation conducted by Food Safety News (FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation’s leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, evaluated more than 60 products labeled as “honey” that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia.

Bryant found that 76 percent of “honey” samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were “honey” samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.

The full FSN report with a list of all the pollen-less “honey” brands can be accessed here:
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-…

So what is all this phony honey made of? It is difficult to say for sure, as pollen is the key to verifying that honey is real. According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China, and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

Most conventional honey products have been illegally ultra-filtered to hide their true nature

According to FSN, the lack of pollen in most conventional “honey” products is due to these products having been ultra-filtered. This means that they have been intensely heated, forced through extremely tiny filters, and potentially even watered down or adulterated in some way prior to hitting store shelves.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the position that any so-called honey products that have been ultra-filtered are not actually honey. But the agency refuses to do anything to stop this influx of illegitimate “honey” from flooding the North American market. It also continues to stonewall all petitions to establish a national regulatory standard for verifying the integrity of honey.

Ultra-filtering eliminates and destroys all medicinal properties of honey

Assuming that there is any real honey at all in the phony honey products tested by FSN, the removal of pollen and other delicate materials via ultra-filtering renders them medicinally dead. Raw honey is a health-promoting food that can help alleviate stomach problems, anemia, allergies, and other health conditions. Ultra-filtered honey is nothing more than a health-destroying processed sugar in the same vein as white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

The good news is that all of the honey products FSN tested from farmers markets, food cooperatives, and “natural” stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, were found to contain pollen and a full array of antioxidants and other nutrients. Local beekeepers are another great source of obtaining raw, unprocessed, real honey.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034102_honey_consumer_alert.html#ixzz3w6WWLq7u

BAKING SODA AND HONEY REMEDY THAT DESTROYS EVEN THE MOST SEVERE DISEASE


It’s medically proven that all sugars are counter-beneficial when it comes to cancer simply because cancer cells feed on sugar. However, this natural remedy combining baking soda and honey or maple syrup acts in a completely different way.
For one thing, baking soda neutralizes cancer cells thus disabling them from using sugar to support their further growth. On the other hand, honey or maple syrup gives different effect on cancer cells, which use 15 times more glucose, in comparison to healthy cells. It’s because of the honey that baking soda enters and destroys cancer cells.
What you need:
Baking soda
Maple syrup or honey
How to prepare:
Mix baking soda and maple syrup or honey in a ratio 1:3. Stir until the ingredients blend well. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.
How to use:
Take 3 tsps. of this remedy each day for one month.

 

Avoid all kinds of meat, sugar and white flour during the treatment.

Read more at http://www.theinfopost.org/2015/11/baking-soda-and-honey-remedy-that.html#JiMAflGKIzMlqyJY.99

Pesticide found in 70 percent of Massachusetts’ honey samples


More than 70 percent of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Honeybee605

The study appeared online in the July 23 issue of the Journal of Environmental Chemistry.

“Data from this study clearly demonstrated the ubiquity of neonicotinoids in pollen and honey samples that bees are exposed to during the seasons when they are actively foraging across Massachusetts. Levels of neonicotinoids that we found in this study fall into ranges that could lead to detrimental health effects in bees, including CCD,” said Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study.

Since 2006, there have been significant losses of honeybee colonies. Scientists, policymakers, farmers, and beekeepers are concerned with this problem because bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide.

Previous studies analyzed either stored pollen collected from hives or pollen samples collected from bees at a single point in time. In this study, the Harvard Chan School researchers looked at pollen samples collected over time — during spring and summer months when bees forage — from the same set of hives across Massachusetts. Collecting samples in this way enabled the researchers to determine variations in levels of eight neonicotinoids, and to identify high-risk locations or months for neonicotinoid exposure for bees. The researchers worked with 62 Massachusetts beekeepers who volunteered to collect monthly samples of pollen and honey from foraging bees, from April through August 2013, using pollen traps on the landings of beehives. The beekeepers then sent the samples to the researchers.

The researchers analyzed 219 pollen and 53 honey samples from 62 hives, from 10 out of 14 counties in Massachusetts. They found neonicotinoids in pollen and honey for each month collected, in each location — suggesting that bees are at risk of neonicotinoid exposure any time they are foraging anywhere in Massachusetts.

The most commonly detected neonicotinoid was imidacloprid, followed by dinotefuran. Particularly high concentrations of neonicotinoids were found in Worcester County in April, in Hampshire County in May, in Suffolk County in July, and in Essex County in June, suggesting that, in these counties, certain months pose significant risks to bees.

The new findings suggest that neonicotinoids are being used throughout Massachusetts. Not only do these pesticides pose a significant risk for the survival of honeybees, but they also may pose health risks for people inhaling neonicotinoid-contaminated pollen, Lu said. “The data presented in this study should serve as a basis for public policy that aims to reduce neonicotinoid exposure,” he said.

Know Your Honey: Different types of honey and their health benefits


There are over 300 types of honey – and different honeys are good for different health issues…In general, we have the following:

1. Honey is antibacterial and antiseptic:  raw honey contains hydrogen peroxide, released when it comes into contact with moisture. Hydrogen peroxide is both antibacterial and fungicidal. Honey was originally used for therapeutic purposes, as it has antibacterial properties, but was replaced by antibiotics, such as penicillin and synthetic drugs in the 1940s and 1950s. Honey is also gyroscopic, which means that it naturally attracts moisture. Most bacteria breed in moist conditions and honey dries out wounds, preventing wounds becoming infected.
Know Your Honey  Different types of honey and their health benefits

2. Honey as a sweetener:   raw honey doesn’t cause the blood sugar to spike.  It allows a much healthier gradual increase in blood sugar levels. And we only a need a teaspoon to make a difference.

3. Dark honeys are high in antioxidants:   The darker the honey, the more antioxidant which eliminate free radicals.  HOney has a unique anti0oxidant:  pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.

4. Honey can help you digest food better. Honey contains natural enzymes that assist the digestive process.

5. Honey is said to aid sleeping. The theory indicates that a spoonful of honey before sleep provides the body with enough glucose to ‘feed’ the brain during the night. This prevents or limits the early morning release of cortisol and adrenalin (stress hormones) which disturb sleep; stabilises blood sugar levels; contributes to the release of melatonin, the hormone required for recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest. (According to a recent study in Hershey, Penn, USA.)

6. Honey is good for your skin. Because honey attracts moisture, it helps to nourish the skin – that is why it is often used in skin care products. Also, honey’s antioxidants compounds help to fight free radicals, which can damage skin. Some people find honey is very effective for conditions such as sunburn, acne and eczema.

There are also different ways of processing honey…what you are looking for is:

• Not pasteurised (which degrades the enzymes, minerals and vitamins).
• Not ultra filtered – which removes the pollen and its benefits.
• Not a blend of different honeys from different countries (which almost all supermarket honey is, even when it is organic).
• The bees aren’t given antibiotics.
• The bees are fed honey not sugar (many beekeepers feed their bees sugar in the winter).

let’s take a look at what different honeys are recognized for:

The color and flavor of honeys differ depending on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by the honey bees. In fact, there are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. Honey color ranges from nearly colorless to dark brown, and its flavor varies from delectably mild to distinctively bold, depending on where the honey bees buzzed. As a general rule, light-colored honey is milder in taste and dark-colored honey is stronger….

Following is a look at some of the most common U.S. honey floral varieties. To learn more about available types of honey in your area, contact a local beekeeper, beekeeping association or honey packer. For help finding a honey packer or a specific floral source, visit the Honey Locator.

Know Your Honey  Different types of honey and their health benefits

ALFALFA

Alfalfa honey, produced extensively throughout Canada and the United States from the purple blossoms, is light in color with a pleasingly mild flavor and aroma.

Alfalfa is good for cardio issues…arteriosclerosis in addition to the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties.

AVOCADO

Avocado honey is gathered from California avocado blossoms. Avocado honey is dark in color, with a rich, buttery taste.

Avocado honey is rich with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and offers many of the same medicinal properties as an aloe vera plant.

BLUEBERRY

Taken from the tiny white flowers of the blueberry bush, the nectar makes a honey which is typically light amber in color and with a full, well-rounded flavor. Blueberry honey is produced in New England and in Michigan.

According to the Brock University Blueberry and Buckwheat honeys have the highest antibacterial anti-oxidants

BUCKWHEAT

Buckwheat honey is dark and full-bodied. It is produced in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as in eastern Canada. Buckwheat honey has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds than some lighter honeys.

While strong and dark, it has a high level of anti-oxidants.  It is considered one of the most valuable honeys native to Europe.  In comparison to other bright honeys, it contains more magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, nickel, bohrium, iodine and cobalt. If buckwheat honey is freshly extracted, it has: 51.6% fructose, 46.59% glucose and 0.27% sucrose.  There has been established that there is a lot of vitamin C (2.9 – 11.9mg %), B1, B2 and PP.  When it comes to the enzymes, content of the buckwheat honey is the richest among other Polish honeys. It has very high antibiotic qualities. According to research, its antibiotic characteristic is slightly better than Manuka honey’s 

It is recognized to have an impact on:

  • artherosclerosis
  • bacterial infection
  • diabetes (type 2)
  • liver (detox)
  • microcytic anemia (iron deficiency)

Clover honey has a pleasing, mild taste. Clovers contribute more to honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. Red clover, Alsike clover and the white and yellow sweet clovers are most important for honey production. Depending on the location and type of source clover, clover honey varies in color from water white to light amber to amber.

Again, there are many different types of clover and thus clover honey…but in general, clover honey is known for:

  • promoting wound healing and treating burns
  • regulating blood pressure
  • control liver issues
  • regulating cholesterol
  • providing anti-oxidants
  • mucus thinner and thus eliminates coughing

EUCALYPTUS HONEY

Eucalyptus honey comes from one of the larger plant genera, containing over 500 distinct species and many hybrids. As may be expected with a diverse group of plants, eucalyptus honey varies greatly in color and flavor but tends to be a stronger flavored honey with a slight medicinal scent. It is produced in California.

Eucalyptus honey is good for:  respiratory, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and stimulating health benefits – not bad for a teaspoon of honey…but you have to take it regularly.

FIREWEED HONEY

Fireweed honey is light in color and comes from a perennial herb that creates wonderful bee pasture in the Northern and Pacific states and Canada. Fireweed grows in the open woods, reaching a height of three to five feet and spikes attractive pinkish flowers.

There are over 50 types of Fireweed but they do apparently help to strengthen the immune system, respiratory system and improve the condition of the body.

MANUKA HONEY

Manuka honey, primarily produced in New Zealand, is used as a natural product both internally and topically on the skin. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, which is indigenous only to New Zealand. The honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment of New Zealand.

Manuka honey has been found to be effective against Helicobacter pylori, which is pathogenic to the stomach and intestines and is involved in the formation of gastric ulcers and 12-duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer. Helicobacter pylori taken from the ulcer with biopsies was sensitive to a 20% solution of Manuka honey. The growth of these bacteria was completely discontinued with 5-% solution of Manuka honey. 

NEEM

Neem honey is not in this list but I will put it in anyways.  Neem is a well recognized Ayurvedic plant utilized to treat:  allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, dental & throat infections, skin conditions

ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY

Orange blossom honey, often a combination of citrus sources, is usually light in color and mild in flavor with a fresh scent and light citrus taste. Orange blossom honey is produced in Florida, Southern California and parts of Texas.

Orange blossom honey contains:  quercetin, hesperitin, luteolin, kaempferol,  galangin, naringenin and isorhamnetin — antioxidants with anti-inflammatory,  anti-allergy, anti-cancer and immune supporting effects in the body

SAGE HONEY

Sage honey, primarily produced in California, is light in color, heavy bodied and has a mild but delightful flavor. It is extremely slow to granulate, making it a favorite among honey packers for blending with other honeys to slow down granulation.

Sage honey is a very pale honey and has less than 20% of the anti-oxidants of its darker cousins…but it still maintains all the other benefits of honey:  enzymes, antibacterial, antifungal, etc

TUPELO HONEY

Tupelo honey is a premium honey produced in northwest Florida. It is heavy bodied and is usually light golden amber with a greenish cast and has a mild, distinctive taste. Because of the high fructose content in Tupelo honey, it granulates very slowly.

As with most plants, there are a wide variety of Tupelos – the best for honey is said to be the pure white tupelo.  Along with antibacterial and anti-fungal benefits, tupelo honey to soothe coughs, sore throats, burns and as an anti-inflammatory,  but research about its health effects is inconclusive.  But it does contain: ” 25.95 percent dextrose, 43.27 percent fructose, 1.21 percent sucrose, 7.97  percent maltose and 1.1 percent higher sugars. It also contains thiamine,  riboflavin, ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, sodium, potassium, magnesium,  manganese, iron, copper, calcium and phosphorous” 

WILDFLOWER HONEY

Wildflower honey is often used to describe honey from miscellaneous and undefined flower sources.

HONEY BLENDS

While different types of honey are available, most honey, especially honey supplied in bulk, is blended to create a unique and consistent taste and color.

Honey bee losses double in a year due to poor winter.


 

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This winter’s losses of honey bee colonies were the worst since records began six years ago, according to a survey carried out by the British Beekeepers Association.

It says more than a third of hives did not survive the cold, wet conditions.

All regions of England saw dramatic declines with the numbers lost more than double the previous 12 months.

This year’s poor winter, following on from a disastrous summer, is said to be the main reason for the losses.

British beekeepers have been surveyed at the end of March for the last six years.

 “Start Quote

This loss of bees was in effect far more dramatic than foot and mouth was on the national beef herd”

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Tim LovettBritish Beekeepers Association

They are asked to compare the number of colonies that are still alive compared to the numbers they had back in October.

With overall losses at 33.8%, this year’s figures are the worst yet recorded.

The hardest hit region was the South West where over half of the hives were lost.

“It is desperate; it is a huge loss of bees,” Devon beekeeper Glyn Davies told BBC News.

“The weather last summer and this winter, the two combined meant there was virtually a whole year when bees were confined and stressed just because of the environmental conditions.”

Queens affected

The bad weather meant that honey bees were unable to get out and forage. There was a scarcity of pollen and nectar throughout the season.

Some beekeepers believe that the increased number of infections and disease that bees are subject to may have made them weaker and unable to cope with the colder conditions.

“We are in a different era; quite frankly the bees haven’t got the resistance and reserves that they once did because of various illnesses and viruses,” said Mr Davies, who himself lost around a quarter of his 25 colonies.

The weather also posed problems for newly emerged queen bees – “virgin queens”. The growth of colonies depends on these bees being able to mate properly so they can lay fertilised eggs. But the poor weather hampered these activities as well.

If the weather is changeable, a queen may not execute her mating flight properly, Tim Lovett from the British Beekeepers Association told BBC News.

“If she doesn’t get properly mated she can only lay drones, and if she is doing that, that’s the death knell for the hive.”

A colony that has only drones and no workers will not survive.

Another weather-related factor that has worked against the bees is what is called isolation starvation. Because of the cold, the bees cluster very closely together to maintain hive temperature and consume the stores of honey closest to them.

If the weather is so cold that they can’t actually move, the bees will starve – although there may be plenty of food sources nearby.

Beekeepers say that is very bad news for honey supplies in the coming months. Late last year, the British Beekeepers’ Association reported that the honey crop was down by over 70% compared to 2011. They do not have great hopes for a recovery this year.

“It’s disastrous for honey production,” said Mr Lovett. “There is a cumulative effect because you have got to replace those hives. That is something the beekeeper now has to do.

“This loss of bees was in effect far more dramatic than foot-and-mouth was on the national beef herd. It means a great deal of work ahead for beekeepers to get back to where they were.”

Source: BBC