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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,455

    Default Pollen. An Ingredient or Constituent of Honey

    A discussion of interest on another Bee related Forum on happenings in France regarding Genetically Modified Pollen being deemed not fit for human consumption and what should happen was GM Pollen found in someone's honey. If someone maintained an apiary and a GM crop was planted nearby and pollen from those plants was found in honey harvested from those hives, should the beekeeper be compensated by someone since the honey would also be unfit for human consumption by the presence of GM pollen?

    How will we handle things here in the US as time goes by and more GM crops are grown?
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Robeson Co, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Pollen. An Ingredient or Constituent of Honey

    1.What makes a pollen unfit for human consumption? Who gets to decide that? The Starlite corn was banned in the US. The only reason it was deemed to be unfit was one of the protiens introduced took a longer time to digest and thought to be a possible allergen. I have GM(roundup ready) fields planted all around me. Maybe that had something to do with my bad year...maybe not. Who knows what else they've planted.
    2.If a non-GM farmer can be sued(this is being debated) by a biotech company for pollen "jumping the fence", can a beekeeper be sued because maybe he owned the fence jumper? It's a stretch I know, but could it happen? Seriously, if you go after a large company with a warehouse full of lawyers, they will turn the tables on you.
    3. Pollen from GM corn is in the air. No way not to consume it. No way around GM crops. When all crops are self-pollinating(GM), beekeepers won't have any voice left, therefore insignificant and ignored.
    4. I just don't see the current powers that be allowing a beekeeeper to be compensated for pollen contamination. But then again I am one of those guys that think they're not looking out for my best interest, but their own.

    Maybe I'm way off base. Just thoughts after reading your post.

    Regards,
    Jon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,455

    Default Re: Pollen. An Ingredient or Constituent of Honey

    Where does the pollen in extracted honey come from? I always assumed that there is pollen in the cells w/ the honey. But I don't know that to be true. Is it? Or is there pollen on the surfaces of comb and frames which becomes dislodged into the honey during the extracting process?

    I have often heard that one can call a particular honey clover or buckwheat or whatever and prove it is so by analysis showing the presence of a certain type of pollen. But, do honeys only have one kind of pollen in them? I don't think so, but I am not sure. Does anyone know? Is there a study, paper, or text someewhere which answers these questions?

    Perhaps the book "Honey"?
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,937

    Default Re: Pollen. An Ingredient or Constituent of Honey

    The linked study is of New Zealand honey, but may very well apply to some North American honey as well.

    Pollen analysis of New Zealand honey


    A snippet from part of the conclusion:
    The number of pollen types recorded during the survey is well over 100 but the number in any
    particular sample rarely exceeds 22. In this respect New Zealand honey is not especially rich in pollen
    types and compares with many honeys characteristic of north-west Europe.

    http://www.airborne.co.nz/images/technical/panz.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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