Those were the unofficial words from a technician of an independent laboratory describing the toxin and honey profile reports of our 2019 honey. He had never seen completely toxin-free, non-adulterated lab results from a honey producer. Here is the official version which I was allowed to quote directly from the CEO of Sweetwater Science Labs:
"These honeys are consistent with being genuine and do not exhibit any quantifiable man-made contamination." -Dr. James Gawenis, CEO/Chief Chemist, Sweetwater Science Labs
Back in 2017, we requested a complete toxicology report from Intertek in Germany. We asked them to test our Queens Reserve Sourwood Honey from our original apiary for any bee treatments including legal and illegal antibiotics, pesticides, fungicides, miticides, varroacides and herbicides including glyphosate (aka Roundup). The results all came back, “n.d.” as in, “none detected.” This year, Killer Bees Honey sent three samples, one each from our three apiaries to Sweetwater Science Labs in Missouri. They are the only lab in America that uses the new, state of the art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) made by Bruker. We not only asked them to analyze our honey for common bee treatments used by commercial beekeepers but also requested a complete honey profiling of each harvest. The results were astonishing, but again, not unexpected. The bio-analysis of our honey came back <LOQ (below “Limit Of Quantification”). In other words, using state of the art equipment, the lab couldn't find a toxin, adulterant or antibiotic that could be quantitatively detected. The results were so surprising, Sweetwater Science Labs requested we send another sealed retail jar of our honey for retesting and verification. The outcome was the same.
Key findings of honey profiles of Killer Bees Honey
Americans purchase 600 million pounds of honey a year. The USA only produces 150 million pounds. Without dwelling on the obvious, demand has far exceeded supply. Unethical beekeepers and packers throughout the world are taking advantage of this deficit by adulterating honey with sugar substitutes to increase their volume. According to the United States Pharmacopeia's Food Fraud Database, honey is now the third most targeted food for adulteration, behind milk and olive oil. China tranships substances that have no honey in it whatsoever, yet label it “honey.” Simultaneously, modern consumers have become better educated and are looking for healthier alternatives to cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and transhipped junk. How does the American consumer know that what they are buying is pure honey?
Skyterra, Panthertown and our home apiary honey were tested by Sweetwater Science Labs for adulteration. For those who don’t have time to read the provided links, please see the below table which summarized the results of our honey from all three apiary locations:
We also had Sweetwater Science Labs test for 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). HMF is an organic compound that is produced by acid-catalyzed dehydration of sugars. Elevated concentrations of HMF indicate overheating, such as in ultra pasteurization of honey, honey which is stored in poor conditions, or honey of higher age. Any honey with HMF >40-80 mg/kg is non-compliant and cannot be sold in the EU per the Codex Alimentarius and the EU Directive. The Apimondia white paper on honey fraud clearly adheres to the same criteria. However, there are no such regulations for HMF levels in the USA. The results? All KBH honey were <LOQ for HMF.
Finally, we additionally asked Sweetwater Labs to measure for any and all indicators of fermentation. Fermented honey is the result of impatient beekeepers who harvest honey before the bees have the chance to fully cure the nectar in uncapped combs. This results in higher moisture levels in honey. Bees actively dehumidify honey down to ≤17.8% moisture. This low moisture level prevents sugars and yeast from fermenting. We harvest our honey from fully capped honeycombs. All three samples of our honey came back with <LOQ for organic compounds which causes fermentation.
Key findings of the Pesticides & Antibiotics Reports
Our new apiaries in Panthertown and Skyterra revealed <LOQ for all commonly used bee treatments. Pesticides and their related acaricides and miticides are applied by commercial beekeepers to lower the economic threshold of the Varroa destructor mite in the hive. Varroa d. is a parasite that can vector up to 20 different pathogens such as Deformed WInged Virus into the bees' hemolymph. These pathogens weaken and destroy the immune system of the honeybees resulting in the collapse of the colony, commonly referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). We use organic methods to control mites by applying formic acid vapors (MAQS), or oxalic acid vapors (OA). This is a far more labor-intensive practice, but we believe, healthier for the bees. Formic acid and OA are found in nature and do not leave poisonous residues in honey.
Both apiaries had <LOQ for all antibiotics. Legal and illegal antibiotics are used by beekeepers to combat such things as American Foul Brood (AFB), European Foul Brood (EFB) and gut issues such as Nosema apis. Bees in nature use the antibacterial and antioxidant properties found in gathered nectar from the surrounding flora. We allow each hive to keep their first 50 pounds of honey for their own consumption. This nutritious and natural resource guarantees the ability of the honeybee to fight infections - a practice its species has learned from collecting nectar for the last 100 million years.
For toxin results from our KBH home apiary, please see the previous report from Intertek.
Through rigorous testing and transparency, Killer Bees Honey strives to ensure unadulterated, toxin-free honey. This quantifiable purity not only benefits the educated consumer but demonstrates our commitment to habitat sustainability and good bee stewardship. Our hive girls wouldn’t have it any other way.
— The Beekeeper and the Beekeepers Wife of Killer Bees Honey