Articles are published regularly about the decimation of our honey bees. What accounts for this loss? Some say it is the homeowner maintaining those beautiful plants with chemical sprays, some organizations say it is genetically modified crops, many say it is the beekeepers spraying their hives for mites, a few say it is global warming, and finally, some scientists have attributed their decline to mobile phones. Why should that concerned you? The US consumes 300 million pounds of honey each year and only one half is produced in our country which means the rest is imported from Mexico, China, Brazil, and Argentina. Testing on many of these imported honeys show that they are not 100% pure. They are being blended with additives, such as, corn syrup and in many cases, a rare honey maybe blended with a more common honey. Farm Bureau, in their winter publication, found a specific case where sourwood honey produced in Western NC was being mislabeled in many markets. David Tarpy says NC beekeepers produce in the ballpark of 15 million dollars in honey each year and pollinated crops by bees contribute about $185,000,000 to our economy.
The article continues to say that beekeeper have petitioned the federal government for many years to establish a honey standard to no avail. NC beekeepers with the assistance of several in state agencies developed their own standard. A farmer fills out the appropriate forms and after an inspection of his facilities, he will be given a label to place on each jar of honey. Now, North Carolinians can trust that they are getting the real product. Look for the label when shopping at your local farmers' market.