I went to Costco online and found below product descriptions. They state where each product comes from. I'm going to try to upload articles from their magazine, but if you don't see them later, it's because I couldn't figure it out. In the meantime, they seem to support ideas of how we shop - 1st buy local even if pay more; then buy regional, then PA, then made in USA, then global with Fair Trade and Sustainability practices.
1. GloryBee - The Pacific Northwest region is known for its abundance of delicious blackberries. When honey is harvested from hives surrounding these blackberry patches, it possesses a deep golden hue and the flavors and aroma of an Oregon summer. The rich, warm flavor of Raw Pacific Northwest Blackberry Honey compliments baked goods, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, and fresh fruit. All of GloryBee’s raw honey is guaranteed to be 100% pure and unfiltered. It is heated to only 115° F and is strained, never filtered retaining the natural pollens and enzymes of honey straight from the hive. The texture can vary from liquid to creamy from batch to batch and season to season. This variation in texture is one indicator of the honey being 100% pure and raw. Product of United States of America. 18 oz. (6 pack)
2. GloryBee Organic Raw Clover Blossom Honey Pail - Features: Organic Raw Clover; Non GMO; Country of Origin: Brazil, Canada & Mexico. Organic Raw Clover Blossom honey from GloryBee comes from remote areas worldwide where tracts of land are able to meet organic certification standards. This honey is produced from organically farmed clover fields and made in hives kept without the use of antibiotics, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
This 100% pure, raw honey is not only organic and non-GMO, it is also sustainable and supports SAVE the BEE®. Read article about SAVE the BEE. (11.67 pail)
3. Kirkland Signature - 100% Pure U.S. Grade A; Kosher; true source certified. Read articles about suppliers. (5 pound bottle)
4. Kirkland Signature Organic Raw Honey, 24 oz. - Raw Organic Honey. 100% Grade A; Product of Brazil; USDA Organic; Honey bear plastic jar (3-pack).
5. Comvita UMF 20+ Raw Manuka Honey, 8.8 oz. ($99.99); Independently certified UMF 20+ Raw Manuka Honey with MGO of 829+
• Ultra premium and rare (represents <1% of the Manuka crop)
• Highest UMF level for targeted uses
• Sourced and packed in New Zealand
• Deliciously creamed
• Packaged in BPA-free jar
• WAYS TO USE: Enjoy a delicious spoonful in the morning or before a workout as a natural energy source. Add to your tea, toast, yogurt, or smoothie as a superfood. Use as a DIY face mask as part of your daily beauty routine.
• DID YOU KNOW? Comvita supplies medical-grade (sterilized, high UMF) Manuka Honey, which is administered topically for its antibacterial properties to treat wounds and burns in hospitals and wound care clinics.
• COMVITA HERITAGE From humble beginnings in 1974, and now with over four decades of perfecting the beekeeping craft, Comvita is the trusted global leader in Manuka Honey. They have over 40,000 hives and maintaining sustainable relationships with their beekeepers.
I’ll try to attach articles from Costco Connection Magazine, which members like our family receive.
Surprised this honey isn't coming from China.
I bought about 3 jars last year and it was as good as mine. It was from Ga same as me. It wasn't Costco honey though.
I do not want to imply that Costco honey is not what they say it is, but international transshipment of (mostly Chinese) honey and other products such as rice syrup that claim to be honey is a major problem. Vietnamese "honey" market price is in the 80-90 cent range, so let your imagination run wild.
As part of my Master Beekeeper certification at Cornell University a few months ago, I did a presentation on this problem. A video is of an evening's series of presentations is available on the Cornell University Dyce Lab Facebook page (with my presentation starting at about the 1:01:00 point) at:
Note that nuclear magnetic resonance technology is required to distinguish real honey from rice syrup, and is mostly done by labs in Germany. Even the Honey Integrity Task Force (a U.S. honey industry sponsored organization) has recently used C3/C4 testing to "certify" a lack of adulteration in U.S. honey, but this methodology cannot distinguish the rice syrup from true honey. So, even if a large packer or retailer honestly believes that they are selling real U.S. honey, they may themselves be getting scammed by their suppliers.
There will be session on this problem at Apimondia in Montreal in September.
If it looks like a turd and smells like a turd, you don’t have to taste it.
So we all smell something fishy about $2.98 per pound honey. Take out the costs we all know about trying to sell our real US honey - containers, labels, transportation to and from market/customer, the $$ you spend to be present at a farmers market every week, etc etc etc. Take all that out and then add the inevitable middleman costs that must be involved in Costco carrying this product, and you get beekeepers working for maybe $2-3 an hour. Where in the world would anyone work for that wage?
The only way this can make any sense is if it’s rice syrup. Artificially colored and flavored. And we’re not even scratching the surface on the organic claim. How would this get passed off as raw organic made in the US? Politicians, overly capitalistic businessmen from the country that dominates the honey trade, and good old American blindness.
Whoever wants to buy this crud, let them at it. We’ll never get through to the masses. But we’ll keep trying, because we are American Beekeepers!
this sounds not related but it is. i bought a pair of work shoes at walmart. the style used to be made in china. they are identical and marked and labeled "made in vietnam". the box is labeled "printed in china". so much for the trade war that is 100% in the news. i am sure that costco and walmart are both 100% innocent, the innocent part was a bad joke, sort of.
Today I went to the store and checked this out. I was interested to see what I'd find.
Yes, I did find that raw unfiltered for about 2.99...only it was walmart instead of costco. But it was the same bottle and label that had the argentinian honey. There was a slight difference though...maybe I'd just missed it before but I noticed the label of the 2.99 honey said, made in Canada, US, and Argentina. (I hadn't noticed the Canada label before.)
But what was kind of wild was after that type the honey price changed wildly at walmart.
There was one type that was over 5 and a half dollars. It was the normal stuff. And then there was one maker that was over 7 dollars, maybe close to 7 and a half, the one that they leave a section of comb in with a jar of like 15 or 16 ounces of honey. Then there was the other kind saying raw and natural over 9 dollars for 1 lb.
My point with this is that if more beeks sell their own honey, I think it could demand to keep some of the price deflation from happening? (I realize also you wouldn't be able to do all of those or concentrate on it too much. But people do roadside stands for vegetables all the time where I'm at, and people like it.) Part of the reason why be packages prices went up was because all the beeks did so together. If more of the honey supply is at a higher price at a more organized rate wouldn't that mean potential for the price to go up? (Well the 9 dollar price is already a lot. I'm talking about the 3 and 5 dollar prices not being that great.)
Last edited by hagane; 08-11-2019 at 01:49 AM.
One thing that doesn't seem to have been said is how Costco's business model works...they don't aim to make much or even any profit on the actual product in most cases. Nearly all of their profit comes from Membership fees and money earned from services. So it's very likely that they are selling this honey for close to what they paid for it wholesale. They are also not prone to subterfuge like some corporations, so I doubt that it is something other than they describe it. Yes, this pricing isn't helpful for local beeks, of course, but in many respects, it may be a different market, too.
Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...
The commercial value of honey produced in the United States for honey is about $150 million dollars (at $1.03 per pound). The value of pollination services in the United States is $16 BILLION. (beespotter.org/topics/economics/)
Honey is a side show for large beekeeping companies. Honey production, contrasted to pollination services, is more labor intensive, and as with all labor intensive products, overseas competitors with access to cheaper labor have an advantage. American companies probably make enough from honey to pay for fuel and new tires for their trucks. A primary goal of business is to reduce risk, and selling high volume to a large retailer is probably a simpler, safer deal than selling smaller volumes to a larger number of customers, even if at slightly higher prices. Companies want to move honey, not store it. On the retail end, retailers for their part always have a few "loss leaders" in their inventory to increase traffic into stores and will often price these items at or below cost. The small producer and the small consumer will always be at the mercy of big business.
There is a great documentary ("Lawyers, Guns, and Honey") on the international honey business in the Netflix series "Rotten". A couple of points that the documentary makes:
1) The international consumption of honey exceeds the international production of honey.
2) The difference between the amount of honey consumed and the amount produced is made up by syrups added to real honey or are simply sold as honey.
3) Most of the fake honey comes from China.
4) After regulations reduced the flow of honey from China, businesses started transhipping it through third and fourth party countries.
5) There is a "Honey Police" that can determine if honey is pure or adulterated and can also determine the country of origin. (https://www.qsi-q3.com/?cn-reloaded=1)
6) Businesses and governments use services such as QSI to determine the quality of the honey they sell.
7) There has been ongoing competition between the producers of fake honey and the quality control labs that test for it. The testers currently have the edge.
8) Costco and other large retailers have too much to lose if they were to be caught knowingly selling contaminated food products.
A thought on cheap honey. One way of bumping up the value of a product is to refine it. Needles cost a lot more per pound than do horseshoes. Grape growers around the world have learned this lesson. If you want to increase the market value of your honey, a logical step would be to make mead from it.
Many big businesses just maintain lists of "bait products" only to maintain the variety on the shelves.
The "bait products" ideally will only pay for themselves (OR not loose too much) - that is all required of them.
Honey is great at that - naturally has long shelf life, requires no refrigeration.
Think about it a minute when you are in a grocery store...
Which products in there are not paying for themselves (due to the overheads)?
Lots of them.
Point of all those lettuces and cucumbers to get the customer to come in to do the "one-stop" shopping done.
So, why the suprise about cheap honey again?
I am not surprised, if they are NOT making money from that cheap honey.
Keep in mind - COSTCO is a very large and diversified business entity - they are NOT making money from every product they sell.
They don't mean to.
As long as they have a good general bottom line - they are doing great.
With that, why again beeks are comparing themselves to COSTCO?
You, guys, are trying to compare oil and water.
PS: I understand COSTCO undercuts the little guys as a side-affects; still - they are a big, diversified business and care much less of the honey pricing vs. the BS crowd
Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.
RE: "There is a great documentary ("Lawyers, Guns, and Honey") on the international honey business in the Netflix series 'Rotten'." Not to change the subject of this great discussion, but "Rotten" is a great series. If you watch the one on GARLIC, you will never look at garlic the same again!
I worked for a small blending plant at one time, they're profit was somewhere around .05/pound sold. They made money with volume of sales, we blended roughly 3 million pounds per month. Same thing with this. They buy up last years honey in volume at a lower price and make a profit on volume sold.
"Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown
Sell on taste, not price. It will be our job to inform and educate the consumer on the difference between the two products. It is our fault that things have gotten this far out of line.