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  1. #1
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    Default How much Honey is in your Honey?

    What is in your Honey? What is acceptable? If everyone who keeps bees for the production of honey does what they can to manage them in a responsible manner, even if they use no medications or chemical pest control materials, Pure Honey will still have traces of chemicals not found in honey before those chemicals came into use. So, what is your tolerance? Zero?

    How pure is Pure? How safe is Safe? It seems to me as though people today aren't willing to accept any level of safety or security other than Absolute Safe and Secure. Just look at what we go thru to protect ourselves from the possibility of another 911 type attack.

    I understand that the "How Much..." Threads are a way for the author to better understand what they may not yet understand as well as they would like. So the questions are right and proper. I also think that they point to an underlying problem in how we, in todays world, relate to life, our environment and more.

    Thanks.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    It seems to me as though people today aren't willing to accept any level of safety or security other than Absolute Safe and Secure.
    Oh really? As a person who has spent six years in education in safety related studies (foundations, structural engineering, water treatment plant design, structural materials, and the like) I can tell you first hand that while safety is on the mind of the engineer, it's the guy with the money who pays his paycheck.

    Water treatment standards for instance are calculated on a number of deaths over a lifetime caused by a certain pollutant or pathogen. The answer is never zero. While structures are designed from the foundation to the roof with a safety factor, that doesn't mean they will be erected properly or fabricated properly or built with the correct strength concrete. Even then, the maintenance may not be done to keep that structure up to snuff. Remember that bridge in Minneapolis?

    I don't know which people these are, but they aren't the ones in the know.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredForStereo View Post
    I don't know which people these are, but they aren't the ones in the know.
    Exactly. Not the ones in the know. Which I would call most consumers of just about any product or service.

    I believe we crave surity. Assurance that what we use and consume won't one day, down the road, eventually kill us.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    The old addage was that you kept the "bad" bellow the detectable threshold, but now detection systems are getting better.

    We try to do the best we can, no chemicals for mites, but not perfect in the big picture. Just keep trying to get better . Soon you get to a diminishing return. The next step may be another large capitol investment.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Considering the fact that every year tens of thousands of people die in car accidents, every day is a roll of the dice. In fact, that's what it all is. It may be rare, but people get killed by lightning, plane crashes, shark bites, killer bees, falling down their own stairs, and dropping dead from a heart attack at the age of 35. These things happen. There is no surety.

    Or one could put a helmet on! ;-)
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Whewww, Where we going?

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    I do not know, but I know that there is only honey in my honey. Honey that has residue levels way below USDA guidelines. OPPS!! that is going to get somebody on a soapbox--USDA GUIDELINES TK

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    <snip.OPPS!! that is going to get somebody on a soapbox--USDA GUIDELINES TK
    PREACH IT, Brother Ted!!!! -james

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA
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    141

    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredForStereo View Post
    I can tell you first hand that while safety is on the mind of the engineer, it's the guy with the money who pays his paycheck.

    Water treatment standards for instance are calculated on a number of deaths over a lifetime caused by a certain pollutant or pathogen. The answer is never zero. While structures are designed from the foundation to the roof with a safety factor, that doesn't mean they will be erected properly or fabricated properly or built with the correct strength concrete. Even then, the maintenance may not be done to keep that structure up to snuff. Remember that bridge in Minneapolis?

    I don't know which people these are, but they aren't the ones in the know.
    Good Point: With our own bees we are all running our own quality control that we are comfortable.

    This post really put my education on bees in prospective. When I use to buy honey I never considered how it was produced. I had this vision of bees and honey. That was it. I had no idea people have created unnatural means of driving honey production for profit. I had no idea chemicals were put into the hive? No idea people fed the bees sugar water. I had no idea that they used HFCS. And all the other stuff I either do not know about or can not think of. Unfortunately the possible negatived impact of this method might not be realized for some time.

    I have really enjoyed how much I am learning from the bees and all of you. I choose not to treat my hive and only feed my hives honey or nectar. I would probably feed if it meant the hive dying. I probably will not be able to extract as much honey but I make up for that with running two hives instead of one for the same amount.

    I have no idea if the quality of the honey is going to be better but the more in line with nature I can be sure can not hurt.

    So to this quote above. Just because it is acceptable to do something according to the standard of the time does not make it necessarily right.

  10. #10
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    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Beginnerhives, You have stated that you would intervene if your bees were on the verge of starvation and feed them sugar-a standard management practice. Now I am going to ask you a question. Would you intervene if mites or disease were killing your colonies and you could literally see the problem crawling around on your bees brood. Knowing a little bit of treatment would save the bees lives, would you intervene??? You are their keeper, you have chosen sterwardship over another living creature on the planet. Or would you do the cruel thing and watch them die, something as precious as a Honeybee??? You should always remember that while you have choosen the non treatment/natural feed practice, that standard managment practices work-feeding and medicating when necessary. It beats standing back and watching your bees and investment die. TK

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Cullman Co., AL
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    196

    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    What is in your Honey? What is acceptable?So, what is your tolerance? Zero?

    Mark,
    You are talking about risk, the degree of probability that hurt or injury, or loss will occur over a specific period of time. So, what's the hazard? Using chemicals in our hives? Not rotating comb as often as we should? Not knowing what residue resides in our new wax foundation that has been recycled? The bee brings back chemical residue from the bloom?

    How safe is Safe? It seems to me as though people today aren't willing to accept any level of safety or security other than Absolute Safe and Secure.

    Absolute safety is not possible because complete freedom from all hazards is not possible. I believe folks accept risk every day. Solomon mentioned car accidents. Last time I looked, based on National Highway Traffic Safety stats, an average of 840 deaths occur every week, 52 weeks a year, around 44K a year. You can quickly realize from those #'s that there is a high level of risk associated with driving. However that risk has been accepted by most folks. Now consider what would happen if 840 folks died each week from consuming tainted honey. Those same folks who go out on the road would be clamoring for the Government to do something about it.


    I also think that they point to an underlying problem in how we, in todays world, relate to life, our environment and more.


    Or maybe our approach to keeping bees should be based on the philosophy that it is irresponsible and wasteful to wait for an accident to happen, then figure out how to prevent it from happening again. We manage that risk whenever we modify the way we do something to make our chances of success as great as possible, while making our chances of failure, injury, or loss as small as possible.

    Its no more than a common sense approach to balancing the risk against the benefits to be gained in a situation and then choosing the most effective course of action.

    So, at this point in my management, I use no chemicals whatsoever. I do rotate comb, but have little control over the processing of new foundation or the flight of the bee. So I am mitigating my risk to an acceptable level with the processes that I CAN control.

    Ted, on the other hand, is also mitigating his risk by managing his operation through the processes he chooses and still meeting acceptable standards.

    Federal laws or Standards are another discussion.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  12. #12
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    Columbia county, New York, USA
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Oh great, another treatment vs. non-treatment debate thread, just what we need.
    Hey, don't forget the ever-popular 'if your child was dying would you bring them to the doctor' part.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    just what we need.
    Now that Biological Beekeeping is now Treatment-Free Beekeeping, I don't have to deal with it anymore!

    This sounds like a fight looking for a place to break out.

    So I'll throw this in. Like I said, environmental standards calculate the probabilities of a certain number of people getting sick given a lifetime of a certain level of exposure. I personally eat quite a bit of honey. Therefore I want that honey to be as pure and clean as the bees can make it. But I also drink a lot of water, a lot more than honey. And I've been to the plant where it is made. Where does your food and water come from?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
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    Nov 2005
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    Cullman Co., AL
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Solomon,

    Exactly! It's a personal choice for the consumer, just like it's a personal choice for the keep. I must have missed Omni's point about taking the kid to the Doc. Mark asked, what was in my honey? I told him based on our Risk Management and business model, what was a best guess.

    It really does not matter to me how folks manage their stock. Its their business. I have friends with 3K plus who treat and those with less who don't. I am not privy to cost or net income with either business model nor do I care. Were still friends and share information all the time.

    But, know if I was about to loose 50K in stock cause I screwed up and needed to save the bees, I would do what ever it took to save them.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  15. #15
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    Feb 2011
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    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Many honey houses I will not eat the honey that is produced there. The processing facilities do not meet up to a healthy standard for a food product that is being produced there---:HONEY.. Beekeepers have to realize that they are producing a food that other people will be consuming directly out of a jar or indirectly as a bulk food additive. We can not stand a scare like happened to the Apple industry a few years back. We are just too small an industry to take such a hit. Your processing facility needs to have hot and cold running water for wash down capabilities. You need to wash down after every run- the floor, and as much processing equipment as possible with out contaminating the honey with water. You should be using food grade Stainless steel or food grade plastic (for smaller producers) honey extraction and processing equipment. Your facility should be bee tight. There should not be anything in the plant that does not pertain to the processing of honey. Your floors should be slick concrete or other hard food grade material that can be washed. You should have wash down panels on your walls. You should be proud enough of your facility that you WANT to show it off to your non beekeeping friends and neighbors. AND boy do they talk!!! We have truck drivers that pick up honey for Souix. Guess who the managment at Souix ask for what the condition of the plant is in--the truck drivers. So you never know who is taking notice... We must protect the WHOLESOME image of honey by being as clean as possible. We as beekeepers have survived a holocaust of disease and pest and survived. BUT we can not survive a contamination scare in our product--HONEY. The government and the general public is not that forgiving. TK

  16. #16
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    I was with you Ted, up until you bought in Soiux...I wouldn't let those crooks anywhere near my honey. I wonder how much they are paying their "Co-op" members for their honey. Did you know they are paying over two bucks for imported Mexican and Brazilian honey? yeah...go check with your management, though I wouldn't trust a word that comes out of their mouth.

    sorry...didn't mean to rant...and yeah I know
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    While I do not agree with everything Souix does Alpha, that is NOT here nor there. Being a Souix member should not equate whether you have a clean honey house or not. IF YOU PRODUCE HONEY AND PROCESS IT for sale to the public,bottled or bulk, the plant had best be clean and spotless. That is it bottom line. TK

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Like I said Ted, I agree with what you were saying about processing your honey. I would like to think that the beekeeper extracting would actually hold themselves to a higher standard of cleanliness and care of their product then the govt. regulators standards. Keeping the wholesome aspect of honey should be at the forefront of all us producers if we want to maintain a quality market for our product. All it takes is for one to ruin it for the industry...I would rather beeks police themselves to a high standard then have the govt. keeping things in check.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Beaufort, NC, USA
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    13

    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Oh My!! All this talk when I just posted that I drenched my bees with a Fumagilin B treatment. Well I agree with TK. My bees had diarrhea and I tried to make them feel better. My honey super was removed. So many of my friends that choose to ignore the need for treatments also lose their bees. I'm trying to save mine. When my child is sick I try to make him feel better.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How much Honey is in your Honey?

    Good point Ted. The beehive is not the only place honey can get contaminated, the honey house is also a source. You did a good job of decribing our extracting room. Since we are attached to a food pocessing plant(honey packer) we get the more strick inspection, such as covered llights, food grade epoxy floor. and flying insect control.

    Crazy Roland

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