Wed, 28/09/2016 - 16:50
Greetings from Asia! My name is Cleo Cervancia, a Professor from the University of the Philippines Los Banos and currently the President of Apimondia Regional Commission for Asia. In 2014, our topic was on stingless bees and how to produce and collect honey, pollen and propolis from stingless bees. Now, we are inviting you once again to join the discussion on tropical honey, especially the honey produced in Asia. Our aim is to establish honey standard including for wild honey from giant bees and stingless bees. Quality standards for honey are needed to produce better quality of honey, safeguard consumer’s health and gain consumer’s trust that they are purchasing quality and safe products, and ensure that honey and the way it is produced meets the legislative policy, and ethical requirements of importing countries for food safety, consumer protection, environmental protection, and worker’s welfare (Partap et al 2012).
Do you believe that not all honey is equal? The plant sources, type of bees and environment are major factors that explain why not all honeys are not the same. It is for this reason that we need to harmonize tropical honey standards set by each country to further improve its quality. Moreover, standards are used for marketing purposes. The consumers have the right to know the quality of the product they are getting.
As you might know, there are existing standards for honey based on Codex Alimentarius and EU honey directive. However, the criteria set by EU directives are based on honey produced by western species of honey bees, Apis mellifera. So this means that according to EU honey directive, all honey produced by bees that are not Apis mellifera (or the European honey bee) cannot be sold as honey. Considering the diverse bee species and vegetation in the tropics, it is about time to establish separate standard for the tropical honey. In the Hindu Kush Himalayan countries, only China, India and Nepal have developed quality assurance systems for honey. The Philippines has also crafted standard for honey. The aim of harmonization is to find commonalities, identify the critical requirements that need to be retained, and provide a common standard for the Asian region.
The following topics will be covered in this discussion:
I. Introduction : Definition of honey and How honey is produced
II. Species of honey producing l bees
III. Physico-chemical characteristics of tropical honey
IV. Proposed standard for tropical honey
We invite you to join the discussion which will run from 7 October to 7 November 2016 to ask questions and most importantly to share your knowledge !
Mon, 17/10/2016 - 03:27
how abot this?is it genuine?thanks!
Wed, 19/10/2016 - 05:53
The authenticity of honey cannot be judged by its color alone. Honey colors range from nearly colorless to dark brown, depending on the source of the nectar. It is important to determine the quality of honey through analysis. This may include determination of routine quality parameters such as water content, ash content, electrical conductivity, acidity, pH, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), sugar content and enzyme activity.
Alejandro Fajardo Jr
Fri, 21/10/2016 - 12:22
The GREEN HONEY - still a mystery. So far all the samples we've analyzed were contentious. There were reports of other colors too, but we have yet to analyze one. However, we are not discounting the possibility that there might be GREEN and more...
Sun, 16/10/2016 - 00:58
Thank you very much Professor Cleo Cervancia and all the people behind the beekeeping program of the University of the Phils. Los Baños .When I attended the intensive beekeeping at UPLB my knowledge was really very minimal . Now I appreciate more the tropical species that we have here in the Phils.Before I know only my stingless bees as pollinators in my HN organic farm. I know how disease resistant my stingless bees than my melliferas so I don't pay much attention to them , their presence was just nothing ,thumbs up to the people who made me realized their value and potential .Now, I love them more.
Mon, 17/10/2016 - 17:06
Your green honey looks delicous. I have seen pinkish honey here in the U.S. from Kudzu but the flavor is not unique. It's pretty normal in that sense to a weak wildflower honey.
Sat, 22/10/2016 - 00:22
you will be surprised. There are many variants of colorful honey- shades of green, yellow and orange. We have analyzed all of the samples, and all are fake. We also look for pollen grains in the samples to complement the physico-chemical analysis.
Tue, 18/10/2016 - 03:09
I am a stingless beekeeper while honey is nutritious,the harvest is small.How can we manage them to increase honey yield?
Sat, 22/10/2016 - 00:33
By the way, there are five major criteria in setting up honey standards, namely: moisture content, pH (acidity), electrical conductivity, hydroxyl-methyl furfural, reducing sugar and apparent sucrose.
Among these criteria, moisture content is the biggest problem facing beekepers in tropical areas. It is because of high humidity in the tropics. In the Philippines, for example, the range of moisture content of wild honey produced by giant bees ranges from 20-28% with an average of 23%. Stingless bee has an average moisture content of 30%. In the standard that Philippines crafted (see attached below), the moisture content of honey from hived colonies remain to be 20%, which is consistent with the Codex and EU standards, however for giant bee and stingless bee honeys, our proposal were not more than 23% and not more than 30% respectively. If the market requires lower moisture content, the moisture is reduced by dehumidification. Percent moisture content of honey from other Asian countries have been established like India (20-25%), Nepal (23%) and China (20%). All other parameters are also consistent with Codex and EU. In Bangladesh, the BSTI is responsible for setting quality parameters for honey. Bhutan follows the Codex standard.
Stingless bee honey has obtained a niche in honey market, and it is necessary to establish its standard. In Brazil, the standards were published using the following parameters: reducing sugar (min of 50%), moisture (max of 35%) apparent sucrose (max of 6%,) Insouluble solid(max of 0.4), minerals (max of 6%), acidity (max of 85%,) diastase activity (max of 3%) and hmf (max of 40%). (Villas-Boas and Malapina 2005)
Do you produce stingless bee honey? If so, please share your observations on its quality with reference to sensory attributes (appearance, aroma, flavor, texture) and composition. How does it compare with honey from Apis spp?
Sat, 05/11/2016 - 02:04
Thank you for joining this discussion and we hope you will have sustained interest in keeping stingless bees. On your concern about small amount of honey, here are our suggestions.
Stingless bees are small, and the food that they will gather is proportionate to their requirements. Giant bees produce large amount of honey (around 60 k) because they are bigger in size, thus they need higher quantity of food.
For meliponiculture, you need more colony holdings to achieve the desired harvest. If you have 1,000 hives, even if their production is only 2 kilos per colony, you will harvest 2,000 kilogram of honey per season.
Moreover, you can harvest pollen and propolis.
According to one beekeeper, beekeeping is a game of numbers.
Mon, 24/10/2016 - 08:07
How do we separate Pollen from Stingless Bee Honey? I am having a hard time separating pollen from honey. Often i use a strainer but with little effect.
Would the large amount of pollen content affect the fermantation of Honey?