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Author Topic: importing honey...  (Read 4274 times)
tejas
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« on: December 20, 2004, 11:30:21 PM »

I was working on the home of the owner of Burleson Honey today who is the only major honey packing company in Texas. Mr. Burleson was telling me that his Grandfather started the business in 1907 and they had sold all their hives in 1954. Since then they have been just a packing and Distribution Company. I was surprised to learn that they buy very little domestic honey; he said it was just too expensive and they import the honey from over seas with the majority coming from Vietnam and Taiwan. I must say this was a little disheartening to hear. It must be very difficult for the commercial beekeepers in the US to make a living.
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2004, 09:53:02 AM »

Quote from: tejas
I was surprised to learn that they buy very little domestic honey; he said it was just too expensive and they import the honey from over seas with the majority coming from Vietnam and Taiwan. I must say this was a little disheartening to hear. It must be very difficult for the commercial beekeepers in the US to make a living.


It is same in Finland. Our cost level is too high. In Estonia level  of wages are only 14% that of Finland.

We live in open world.  30 years ago we stoped importing with customs  regulations, and price was really high.  Now Europen Union has stopped every kind of protective duty  and protectionism.

Okay! We have NOKIA and we sell to every place mobile telephones. Have them and stay calm! Keep talking!
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2004, 09:19:57 AM »

It's up to us  to educate people on local honey and the benefits of using local honey.    We have a superior product, we should not be undercutting our prices.    People will pay for a superior product - Starbucks did it with coffee,  we can all do it with honey.  

My mother-in law gave me an empty honey jar to fill, it was from a commercial brand - Dutch Gold Honey - and they were charging $5.79 for a 1 lb glass jar of wildflower honey.  I'm not sure if all of their honey is from the US, but from reading Dutch Gold's website, they are the nation's largest indepent honey packer, not largest indepent honey producer.    But $5.79/lb is highway robbery if they are importing honey from overseas.   But if that's what people are willing to pay,  I'm willing to  take their money if they want to sent it to me too.

So how to we change the US mindset, and maybe even the world to get turned onto "Local Honey".

Some ideas -

Promote honey everywhere you can. Websites, fairs, bazzars,
homebrew supply, everyone you
know.
Bee the "Bee Guy" or "Bee Girl" for your community.
Every jar given away must have your telephone #  - for re-orders.
Use the word "Apiary".  Since most of the general public doesn't
know what an apiary is; this may create a buzz.  15 years ago we
were asking what a coffee bar was.....
Promote everyone's local honey,  not just your own, get involved with
Beekeeping clubs.
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Finman
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2004, 10:30:29 AM »

Quote from: leominsterbeeman
It's up to us  to educate people on local honey and the benefits of using local honey.    We have a superior product, we should not be undercutting our prices.    .


If you have, customer will valuate it. My honey is same as others have. I have nothing, which make my honey unic.

I take price from market. Then I give some cut-back compeared with market price. If I take same money as market, my best customers find someone else broducer.

I do not know, why you have superior honey, but locality does not make honey superior.  I have a lot of customers who each buy 100 lbs honey per year.  I am not going to underestimate they skill to valuate honey on market.

If honey is good it sell well, but I cannot guarantee that it is allways same, - and it is not.

I give to my honey such a price that I manage to get rid of it during winter. I make my honey as good as I can.
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Sting
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2004, 10:35:31 AM »

The situation is actually more serious.

I have read that it is highly suspicious that Viet Nam, with no track record, has suddenly become one of the world's largest exporters of (cheap) honey.  The product probably originates in Communist China, but because of their bad reputation for diluting honey with sugar and for having it contaminated with anti-biotics, the Chinese honey is put on the world market via Viet Nam.  Argentina is also suspected of fronting illegal Chinese "honey".

North American honey packers may in fact be selling the public inferior and possibly dangerous syrup as honey.  It is in all of our interests to press them for answers.
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"Where the bee sucks, there suck I." William Shakespeare: The Tempest.

My apiary is about 17 kms. (10 miles) NW (back & left) of this web-cam view:  'See any of my girls?
http://www.parliamenthill.gc.ca/text/hillcam_e.html
Finman
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2004, 10:57:59 AM »

You have really good information, where your honey comes and what is price.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/fv/mncs/honey.pdf

The style "towards the fire" is not possible on open markets. Also to defame that other have bad honey and we have good, it is not legal in European Union.   In our country it is not possible to sell honey with argument "best honey on market".  You must have water tight  proofs.

Our beekeepers use same language as you use here now. But that is not business nowadays. You just make honey, sell it, and you measure how good you are. Customers tell it to you.  

Beekeeping is also business and you can deceive a customer only once. He remembers you and he tells also to others.
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Sting
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2004, 11:09:35 AM »

Please refer to the following resolution of the Canadian Honey Council:

62nd Annual meeting: Canadian Honey Council
 
Niagara Falls, Ontario:  December 7, 2002

1. Whereas Chinese honey is currently under an import alert because of antibiotic contamination; and Whereas China has already attempted to circumvent this by shipping Chinese honey from other countries
Be it therefore resolved that the CHC requests that the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) continue to carefully monitor imports of honey. Carried Unanimously
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"Where the bee sucks, there suck I." William Shakespeare: The Tempest.

My apiary is about 17 kms. (10 miles) NW (back & left) of this web-cam view:  'See any of my girls?
http://www.parliamenthill.gc.ca/text/hillcam_e.html
Kris^
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2004, 11:50:54 AM »

Quote from: Sting
North American honey packers may in fact be selling the public inferior and possibly dangerous syrup as honey.  


I passed through the supermarket one day, spying a nice-looking bottle, and read the label:  "honey flavored syrup."  But since we've all come to accept "maple flavored syrup" and margarine, is it really any surprise?

-- Kris
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2004, 01:00:15 PM »

No, it is not really a big surprise. I know that we would all be able to taste the difference though. We use real butter and mapple syrup at my house and honey will be the same way, real. bye
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Ryan Horn
fiveson
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2004, 12:29:49 AM »

I was in China a few months ago. The ONLY souvenier I bought for myself was two jars of Honey. One is Date Honey and the other Acacia. The only reason I bought the kind I did (after all its all in Chinese which I cannot read) is because the labels prominently say (in Englisj) 100%.

They have an interesting taste but there is definetly something 'different' about them - they are not thick enough to be what I am used to or expected. Probably diluted.

Still for a new beekeeper - nice souvenier!

BTW I bottled my first seasons honey in Dadant 13.5 oz hex jars. Made a really beautiful label and put some ribbon and a small decoration that looks like stylized flowers (glue gun) - masterpieces. My friends have gone gaga over them (plus the honey is really really tasty and pure).
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The Pleasures Of Love Lasts but a fleeting
But the pledges of life
Outlust a lifetime

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BigRog
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2004, 12:54:51 AM »

The gentleman who sold me a nuc of bees gave me a quart jar of his honey when I returned the nuc to him. It was fantastic,, as was Beth's who sent me a jar. Local natural honey blows away the imported stuff that you get in stores. More people should have this fact told to them.
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"Lurch my good man,…what did you mean when you said just now that 'You've got better things to do than run my petty little errands'…….?"
Bruce Hanson
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2004, 07:50:28 PM »

I'm a commerical beekeeper and a member of Sioux Honey Association who is the Largest packer in the country.Sioux does't buy honey from China or any other trash honey from any countries.Every load that comes in is tested ,if any thing is found that load is rejected.                    SUE BEE HONEY is pure honey
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tejas
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2004, 11:54:56 PM »

Quote from: Bruce Hanson
I'm a commerical beekeeper and a member of Sioux Honey Association who is the Largest packer in the country.Sioux does't buy honey from China or any other trash honey from any countries.Every load that comes in is tested ,if any thing is found that load is rejected.                    SUE BEE HONEY is pure honey


Bruce are you saying all of Sioux Honey comes from the US; if so is it hard for them to compete with companies like Burleson who buy almost entirely from foreign sources.
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Bruce Hanson
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2004, 10:22:30 AM »

Look at the label on  a jar of honey the next time your in the grocery store.Some will have as many as 3 to 4 countries listed as country of orgin.Who knows what is in that honey or the condions of where it was extracted or packed.     Sioux Honey is USA grade A HONEY  Our honey house is inspected and Sioux members are very proud of producing a clean good tasteing honey.                               The price of Sioux might be a little higher than other brands. but has been around many years and people will buy a brand they can trust.
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manowar422
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2004, 12:26:03 PM »

Bruce,
Did the company ever market under the Sue Bee label in Michigan
back in the 50's & 60's? I seem to remember my mom buying that brand when I was very young.
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Bruce Hanson
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 06:59:10 PM »

Yes I'm sure you was enjoying eating Sue Honey The Coop. started in the 40's and use to have an advertisement that said ,,the sun never sets on Sue Honey,, meaning honey was sold honey world wide.      Check them out suebeehoney.com
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