Killer Bees Honey sent samples of our Queens Reserve to an independent laboratory in Germany. We asked the scientists and researchers at Intertek to analyze, at considerable expense, our premium sourwood for any and all legal/illegal antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. We also requested a complete analysis of all bee treatments including, but not limited to currently available varroacides. The results were astonishing, but not unexpected. Each of the fifty-four scientific tests came back with an “n.d.” as in “none detected.” Lastly, we had Intertek test for glyphosate, the active and ubiquitous Monsanto herbicide found in, among other things, Roundup. I’ll address the worldwide use of this pernicious poison in a later post, but begin your education by reading this HuffPost article and the corresponding lawsuit against Sue Bee Honey.
Most if not all large commercial beekeepers make their money in pollination. They truck hives to whomever pays top dollar. One day a colony of bees can be pollinating a California almond grove and three days later find themselves in a Maine blueberry field. Bees collect nectar and pollen from the most abundant and closest resource. If they are surrounded by blueberry bushes or orange trees, they collect blueberry or orange blossom honey. In turn, the bees pollinate the fruit and the blueberry farmer or orchard grower is rewarded with bountiful harvests. If there is any honey collected, it's processed and goes to market.
The resultant honey can be corrupted during these cross-country sojourns. Growers use pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other toxins to maximize agricultural production. These harmful pollutants find their way into nectar the bees collect. Honey stored in 55-gallon drums made in China and India have been found to possess dangerous levels of heavy metals such as arsenic which leaches from the barrel walls. Most commercial beekeepers use antibiotics similar to those used in a veterinary setting. The “off-label” use of streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and sulfonamide is strictly prohibited by the FDA and USDA. Unfortunately, there is little enforcement. Beekeepers continue to use antibiotics at relatively high doses to treat infections and at low doses as, “growth promoters.”
The overuse of pesticides is a worldwide issue that also needs to be addressed. Pesticides are not only used for the treatment of pests on plants but administered in the hive to control the varroa destructor mite. Many of these contaminants are banned in several countries and for good reason. The health hazards and carcinogenic effects of coumaphos, flumethrin, amitraz and taufluvalinate to name a few, are well documented. One study found over 150 different pesticides in a single sample colony of bees. The highest residues of pesticides were from the previously mentioned varroacides.
Americans are beginning to appreciate the potential hazards of agricultural contamination from harmful chemicals and poisons. The scientists at Intertek unequivocally proved that Killer Bees Honey is 100% free of these toxins.
We know where our bees have been and from where they get their nectar. Can you say the same for honey bought anywhere else?