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Latest News from Hire A Hive
Helping to save the British Bee
 
MANUKA HONEY FRAUD


Manuka honey is produced by bees whose hives are placed near flowering wild manuka bushes that grow mostly on New Zealand's North Island. Until 1981, when a New Zealand scientist found it had powerful anti-microbial properties, it was classed as a low-grade honey and used in cattle feed.

The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association's research shows that 1,700 tons are produced each year. However, 1,800 tons of 'Manuka' honey is sold in Britain alone each year, with as much as 10,000 tons sold worldwide.

Of the 73 samples of honey tested by the Association, 41 failed to show non-peroxide activity, the anti-bacterial properties special to Manuka Honey. Honh Kong Authorites found 14 of 55 manuka honey samples tested were adulterated with syrup. Other tests found some of the honey was not Manuka.

The New Zealand Heral reported thatr Fera had tested a small sample of five brands of Manuka honey from shop shelves in the UK. The main New Zealand hney producers who commissioned the test said that only one, made by Comvita, was up to standard. The other four showed no detectable non-peroxide activity. The Food Standards Agency has issued a warning about misleading claims on the labels of manuka honey i.e that honey which is labelled manuka but derived from other sources.

Manuka honey commands prices ten to twenty times higher than other types of honey because of its ant-bacterial properties and New Zealand Safety Minister, Nikki Kaye, said on Radio New Zealand that the government and the honey industry need to move quickly to set an international labelling standard.


Written by Alan Harman - BBKA News October 2013

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Fun Bee Facts . . .

Honey bees communicate with one another by "dancing".
Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die
once they sting.
Bertie Bee