Is honey a premium product?

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fian

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 17, 2022
Messages
825
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297
Location
Galicia, España
Number of Hives
10
Tras varias respuestas en dos posts estos días, abro este post para hablar de la calidad, el precio y la percepción de los apicultores y clientes de nuestro principal producto.
 
“After several responses in two posts these days, I open this post to talk about the quality, price and perception of beekeepers and customers of our main product.”
 
“After several responses in two posts these days, I open this post to talk about the quality, price and perception of beekeepers and customers of our main product.”
Specifically, it was in the thread of How to deal with this?, that is, the issue of crystallization and its management.
A crystallized and later heated honey (with an increase in HMF) should have a lower price because it is of an "inferior quality"?
The other one was yesterday around the concept "raw" but not only it but also other labels such as "ecological", "organic", "local", "natural" or any other label not supported by analytics as if it happens in "de tilo ", "of heather".
 
My views on the above terms:

Ecological - means nothing in context of honey and is bluster used to gain acceptance from those who don't know better, it feels disingenuous.
Organic - not possible to prove in UK honey, using it is poorly informed or disingenuous.
Local/place name - means produced nearby although this can be subjective, it does imply something significantly less than on a national level. Not perfect but less vulnerable than the other terms. Is a further step along the line of describing honey as 'British/English/Welsh/Scottish/Irish'.
Natural - all honey is meant to be natural thus it is meaningless.
Raw- poorly defined, nebulous and disingenuously used as honey may have been heated to clarify it.

It is precisely because I value my honey and that of others that I want to use, defend and preserve the legal definitions. If we all start relying on extra descriptors to try to stand out, we let the consumer misconceptions and values views determine and devalue our product because we are subjecting ourselves to their whimsy.

The issue is not the law rather the lack of upholding of the law. Honey is a good product, it speaks for itself. Fake and lower quality honeys should be highlighted and shamed.
 
This is how this year's honey (August 2022) is as of today. No crystallization, I turned the jar upside down for better viewing, the top air is due to the jar not being filled to the brim. And if someone asks without jars of 1 kg.
Now the big question.
Will the beekeeper be willing to undergo external analysis and label his honey as "industrial" if the HMF content exceeds the legal limit?
We can also discuss whether honey has become cheddarized and how to reverse it.
"Chedarized". "Authentic Red Cheedar" in the Sommerset area (unless you're in the wrong place) but "red cheese" bars of different qualities, origins and of course prices have proliferated all over the world.
 

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My views on the above terms:

Ecological - means nothing in context of honey and is bluster used to gain acceptance from those who don't know better, it feels disingenuous.
Organic - not possible to prove in UK honey, using it is poorly informed or disingenuous.
Local/place name - means produced nearby although this can be subjective, it does imply something significantly less than on a national level. Not perfect but less vulnerable than the other terms. Is a further step along the line of describing honey as 'British/English/Welsh/Scottish/Irish'.
Natural - all honey is meant to be natural thus it is meaningless.
Raw- poorly defined, nebulous and disingenuously used as honey may have been heated to clarify it.

It is precisely because I value my honey and that of others that I want to use, defend and preserve the legal definitions. If we all start relying on extra descriptors to try to stand out, we let the consumer misconceptions and values views determine and devalue our product because we are subjecting ourselves to their whimsy.

The issue is not the law rather the lack of upholding of the law. Honey is a good product, it speaks for itself. Fake and lower quality honeys should be highlighted and shamed.
Ecological or to what extent is our honey free of things? (Not only products against varroa, but also pesticides from our fields where they forage)
This is tied to the local. Example: in Galicia, CREAGA (public body that certifies organic) only allows its seal on those farms located in environmental protection areas.
On the other hand, any beekeeper can benefit from the Protected Geographical Indication "Galicia Honey" as long as they meet a series of requirements.
 
This is how this year's honey (August 2022) is as of today. No crystallization, I turned the jar upside down for better viewing, the top air is due to the jar not being filled to the brim. And if someone asks without jars of 1 kg.
Now the big question.
Will the beekeeper be willing to undergo external analysis and label his honey as "industrial" if the HMF content exceeds the legal limit?
We can also discuss whether honey has become cheddarized and how to reverse it.
"Chedarized". "Authentic Red Cheedar" in the Sommerset area (unless you're in the wrong place) but "red cheese" bars of different qualities, origins and of course prices have proliferated all over the world.
Why do you show a picture of your honey saying it’s not crystallised. Are you suggesting it’s raw! I rather think raw is a pretty stupid definition of honey in the first place! Honey’s vary greatly and so does the speed it crystallises. I’d suggest there’s very few here who could bottle in August store the honey in the back of the garage and have it looking like that at this time of the year.
 
Why do you show a picture of your honey saying it’s not crystallised. Are you suggesting it’s raw! I rather think raw is a pretty stupid definition of honey in the first place! Honey’s vary greatly and so does the speed it crystallises. I’d suggest there’s very few here who could bottle in August store the honey in the back of the garage and have it looking like that at this time of the year.
Yes, my honey has not crystallized nor has it been heated and it is even poorly filtered. Beyond the "raw" concept, perhaps the ones who should respond are the clients. Not in terms of marketing but in the perception of quality.
Are two honeys with the same HMF value, one of them crystallized and the other liquid, perceived as having the same quality? And now if we heat the crystallized material, does its perception of quality increase despite the increase in HMF or the loss of compounds?
I do not know the parameters under which the harvest is carried out (time, room temperature) or the conservation conditions, but this also affects how rigorous and honest a beekeeper wants to be within his area of action.
 
How many ( hobbyists?) people have had their honey tested for HMF and publicised the level. I keep an eye on temp and time and trust in that
I accept your honesty, but in what parameters do we move. Regardless of the HMF parameter (which I have not measured in my honey either), what other parameters are we willing to accept as quality markers?
Has anyone checked if honey that has been capped and stored in its honeycomb crystallizes? If it doesn't crystallize, shouldn't we all market honey preserved in its honeycomb?
 
have I popped the wrong pill this morning? cheddar cheese honey!?
RED cheddar cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I've slipped into the matrix again
Was thinking much the same, another twilight zone thread, about as pointless as the others.
 
I accept your honesty, but in what parameters do we move. Regardless of the HMF parameter (which I have not measured in my honey either), what other parameters are we willing to accept as quality markers?
Has anyone checked if honey that has been capped and stored in its honeycomb crystallizes? If it doesn't crystallize, shouldn't we all market honey preserved in its honeycomb?
I've got some cut comb in the kitchen at home which proves it does.
 
Ecological or to what extent is our honey free of things? (Not only products against varroa, but also pesticides from our fields where they forage)
This is tied to the local. Example: in Galicia, CREAGA (public body that certifies organic) only allows its seal on those farms located in environmental protection areas.
On the other hand, any beekeeper can benefit from the Protected Geographical Indication "Galicia Honey" as long as they meet a series of requirements.
Ecological refers to how things interact with their environment. Calling honey 'ecological' is meaningless as all honey comes from the environment in which it was produced thus the word adds nothing to the description.

We cannot know every plant the bees have foraged on nor what it's been treated with so unless we undertake incredibly expensive molecular fingerprinting, trying to make such claims lacks integrity.

Even if we knew everything in a honey sample, ecological would be the wrong word to describe it. Some form of grading scheme would be needed to make it meaningful. Even then, is it necessary? I refer to my third paragraph in post #4 above.
 
Will the beekeeper be willing to undergo external analysis and label his honey as "industrial" if the HMF content exceeds the legal limit?
The thing is that it takes a long time to exceed the 40mg/kg legal limit. Unless you are doing daft things with your honey you’re pretty safe.
Have a read of this
https://theapiarist.org/hydroxymethylfurfural/
 
Ecological refers to how things interact with their environment. Calling honey 'ecological' is meaningless as all honey comes from the environment in which it was produced thus the word adds nothing to the description.

We cannot know every plant the bees have foraged on nor what it's been treated with so unless we undertake incredibly expensive molecular fingerprinting, trying to make such claims lacks integrity.

Even if we knew everything in a honey sample, ecological would be the wrong word to describe it. Some form of grading scheme would be needed to make it meaningful. Even then, is it necessary? I refer to my third paragraph in post #4 above.
Well, through pollen analysis, we know with great certainty where the bees go, but another thing is that the cost compensates for the sale. The presence of pesticides can also be checked.
As I have pointed out, this is only possible in Galicia in environmentally protected areas where the use of pesticides is prohibited and varroa control is reduced. In addition, CREAGA performs analyzes to verify the imposition of the ecological seal. Without this seal, any Galician knows that the product will not be organic, no matter how much literature is attached to the label.
 
I've got some cut comb in the kitchen at home which proves it does.
Yes honey will crystallise in the comb it’ll also do it in the hive in the comb, so melting it at hive temps in the bucket is likely to prove hard😂
 

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