Honey Authenticity

Attention all Beekeepers: Send True Honey Buzz Your Honey Samples!

By True Honey Buzz

True Honey Buzz is looking for more honey samples to help build an Authentic Honey Database using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). With the help of the Canadian Honey Council, it is the hope of True Honey Buzz to generate methods to help stop fraud in the honey industry.

How you can help

Option 1: Collect and submit samples from your bee yards throughout the season

Provide details and link to app….

Option 2: Submit your honey lot sample jars from previous years

Do you have honey lot sample jars from previous years that you have no use for anymore? The honey is all sold and the lot samples are just sitting gathering dust?

We are particularly interested in sets of samples from throughout the year and an approximate location of where they are from. These samples will be used to examine the viability of the database for identifying real life commercial honey. They represent what beekeepers actually sell and it is vital that we are able to show that the database clearly identifies what is being sold as authentic.

Please send your samples in original sample jars to: True Honey Buzz, 10609 McGrath Road, Rosedale, BC V0X1X2. Please note samples will not be returned.

Option 3: Have the ABC Tech Team collect and submit samples from your yards as part of your Colony Health Monitoring services

Are you taking advantage the valuable services offered by the ABC Tech Transfer Program to support the health of your colonies this year?

If so, why not take this opportunity to have to the Tech Team collect and submit honey samples from your colonies at the same time? Save time and still contribute to this important industry initiative. Simply let your TTP tech know you wish to contribute samples and they will collect and submit honey samples (for FREE!) as part of your CHM services. For more information on how to take advantage of some of the great services the TTP offers, please click here.

Check out this helpful video to see how easy it is to collect and submit samples to True Honey Buzz!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a honey data base? text
  2. Why do you want to make a database? There are two main objectives to making a honey database. The first is to better highlight the unique qualities of honey. Honey is treated like a commodity, meaning there is no perceived difference between honeys. We know that that’s not the case. Honey varies depending on its floral and geographic source and on the weather and the year. Honey is much more like wine and it needs to be sold that way and this can be done using the identification and verification abilities of magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry. The second is that honey is the third most faked food in the world. Honey adulteration is harming both honey producers and consumers. We need a rigorous database of authentic samples to allow us to provide the scientific background needed to expose these fakes.
  3. Who is creating the honey data base? text
  4. How does a database help counter honey fraud? A database of authentic honey helps counter honey fraud because it allows samples to be compared against authentic honey samples in much the same way as a fingerprint database identifies perpetrators. Gathering as many honey samples as possible is important for ensuring testing results are as accurate as possible. With numerous samples we are able to identify unique markers that allow us to identify source of the honey which means that faking and adulteration can be fought.
  5. What is NMR and how is it used to test the authenticity of pure honey? text
  6. Is this data base just for Canadian honey? text
  7. How much honey do you need to provide in a honey sample? Ultimately we only need around 10 ml of honey. More is nice if we need to go back and verify.  Best is to pull honey and comb directly. We always want fresh comb honey – burr comb is great.
  8. How do beekeepers benefit from the database? Many beekeepers have been having difficulties with the amount of honey production and with the dropping price of honey. A honey database can help honey producers in two ways. By including floral and geographic origin as part of honey’s value, it can add extra interest and value in the honey. Currently honey is marketed as a commodity and as a result the cheapest product on the shelf wins. Honey is never going to be the cheapest sweetener out there and it needs to be marketed as the unique product that it is. A database can show honey as the varied and unique product that it is. Beekeepers also benefit from a database being used to counter honey adulteration. Adulterated honey is driving down the price of honey. Being able to identify and take action against adulterated honey helps all beekeepers.
  9. How do consumers benefit from the database? Honey adulteration doesn’t only hurt honey producers, but consumers as well. Consumers are being misled into purchasing corn syrups, rice syrups, and other substances used in honey adulteration and paying more than they are worth. Honey has a number of health benefits that these syrup substitutes do not and the consumer loses out. When honey adulteration is as rampant as it is currently, consumers are not getting value for their money.
  10. What do you do with the information? All of the samples collected are kept in our honey database. This database is for internal use. We will do our best to get each contributor a report on their honey. This may take time as we are still in the process of developing the system and automating has proven harder than we expected.
  11. Are the samples you collect anonymous? All of the samples collected have a unique identifier. However, this identifier is not linked to the supplier/producer.  While we will do our best to ensure that individual samples cannot be identified due to the small number of beekeepers in Canada it is not possible to ensure complete anonymity. The best way to prevent identification is to encourage everyone to supply samples – especially near you.  We will however not release any information about the sample to any outside parties without your consent.
  12. How can I contribute honey samples to the data base? Choose one of the 3 options above to submit your honey samples and help to contribute to this valuable industry initiative.

For more information please contact:

Peter Awram

True Honey Buzz
E | info@truehoney.buzz