Isn't this a recent development here in the US that someone can label their honey organic? What is organic anyways.??
How can a government hold rights to this word Organic? How can a government tell us we can't use the word and charge fees to give permission to use any specific word?
If a person is following generally accepted practices as to what qualifies a hive product as being organic......should we not call it organic?
It's like this....
Unless you live on an island somewhere where aren't exposed to chemically treated crops, even those who have paid the government fees and are labeling their products, Organic, aren't organic at all.....
There's no way to tell a bee where to gather and where to avoid.
Are the guidelines for organic honey listed somewhere on the internet?
I've always wondered about selling hive products as "From hives not treated with miticides, antibiotics, etc. etc."
>Isn't this a recent development here in the US that someone can label their honey organic?
I'm not certain how long it's been this way, but there were a lot of abuses that led to it. A lot of people would take conventional crops that were raised with the use of pesticides and herbacides and lable it "organic" because it had not been defined or regulated. Because of this the various state agriculture departments set their own standards as what "organic" means in order to protect the consumers from fraud. Unfortunately the process is now complex and varies from state to state.
>What is organic anyways.??
Since by one definition of "organic" all pesticides and herbacides are organic (my organic chemistry classes were about nothing but these complex carbon chain based molecules) anyone can define it anyway they want if some government entity doesn't say what that definition is.
>How can a government hold rights to this word Organic? How can a government tell us we can't use the word and charge fees to give permission to use any specific word?
I'm not saying I think it's a good idea, but no setting requirements for what that means also means you aren't very well protected from outright fraud.
>If a person is following generally accepted practices as to what qualifies a hive product as being organic......should we not call it organic?
Not unless you want to be fined by the State Dept of Agriculture.
>It's like this....
>Unless you live on an island somewhere where aren't exposed to chemically treated crops, even those who have paid the government fees and are labeling their products, Organic, aren't organic at all.....
Most states require that no chemicals have been applied to the land in some period of time, usually quite a few years. In the case of honey, of course, it's tougher because bees forage so far, but they usually are interested in chemicals being used within two miles of the hives.
>There's no way to tell a bee where to gather and where to avoid.
>Are the guidelines for organic honey listed somewhere on the internet?
As I said, they vary from one state to the next. Perhaps in Kansas it's simpler than in Nebraska or Iowa.
I would just state the facts in simple terms. Since "organic" is not available you can say you raise your bees with no pesticides or antibiotics used in your hives.
What about saying something like.
Scott, a link I found....
Part two and so on is a click away.
Beegee, this is wild.....
They can use chemicals and call it organic but if you use plastic foundation it's prohibited. Incredible.
That is incredible. I don't mind plastic comb. I DO mind antibiotics and other chemicals in my honey!
We had this debate in a beekeepers meeting last night when we were talking about mite-chek, api var life and apistan. Suppose you do everything right, you still can't control where the bees forage and what they might get into. In pork, trichnosis used to be a major problem. By using vermicides, the trichina worm is no longer the threat to human health it once was. WOuld an organic concumer prefer to get worms or eat the pork from a pig that was trated with vermicide several months before slaughter? With honey, you are eating bee vomit that has certain anti-bacterial properties. To ingest enough bad stuff to really hurt you, you'd have to eat a LOT of honey every day. You probably inhale more bad air-borne particulate matter per hour than you'd eat in a lifetime of honey consumption.
Well I have decided to do things the way the Lusby's have........I call my methods biological. This means I the beekeeper use no dopes, chems ect. But the bees are free to forage as they are prone too. So instead of getting certified organic with the USDA (which I think is a poor standard)a circumnavigate this and simple state my methods which by law I can do. So instead of saying organic one would simply say produced without the use of chemicals , acids, oils, or artificial feeds. As for plastic .....if I can bottle the honey in plastic why can't one use plastic foundation? If the plasic is food grade whats the big deal?
You can call a product "organic" if you are someone making less than (I think) about $5000 a year from those products. You can't call it certified organic, though. If you do market it as organic, you have to be following all the guidelines (available online, try oregon tilth's website) or you can be prosecuted if someone comes and inspects your operation. As many of you said, beekeeping is a tough one because you would need a vast area in which there were organic crops to have organic honey. To complicate matters further, I don't know if bees are livestock, but if you are raising organic livestock (I have chickens) and they get sick, you are not allowed to withold treatment from them, even if it means losing your organic status.
And, although all this certification complicates things, I have to agree with Michael, it does protect the consumer and the farmer who is doing things right from being ripped off by someone using all kinds of chemicals and passing something off as organic just to get more money for their product.
"To complicate matters further, I don't know if bees are livestock, but if you are raising organic livestock"
Yes bees are considered a livestock, I emailed the livestock association in Topeka, (whats the name of that organization) Cattlemens assoc. or something like that, and they confirmed that my bees are livestock and if I wanted to join the association I could and get involved in the education of farmers and ranchers to our own plight as beefarmers.
As a beekeeper you can join in all their events. You can bring your observation hives to their events and hand out your own educational pamplets. You can advertise in their magazines, on their websites and the local publications and take your hives to the area crops to pollinate their goodies for a fee. This keeps your bees close to home.
If they can bring their cows, horses, chickens and etc, you can bring your bees.
Check with your local ag person, they'll come up with the information you need........
Yeah, I suppose their going to make us bottle honey in glass next......good thought there.
LOL What a rip off. I'm not falling for it.
It's the livestock association.
Here is kansas it's....
They are a big group. I was told that if enough beefarmers join, they will then have enough numbers for a vote. So if All beefarmers join the livestock association, we get a nice vote in the matters that come up.
It's worth your investigation. If anyone from Kansas joins and wants to become more involved, I'd love to get involved too. I think we will get further faster is we join the big boys. And since the honeybee Is our states official insect.......it only makes sense, doesn't it?