I'm glad to see such efforts.
As for beekeeping, we are just as bad as any group out there. Here are some things to think about.....
70% of the honey consumed in this country in imported. Wouldn't it be nice to be producing it all here? And while many point fingers at China and foreign imports, the truth is most is used in food processing. So when you hear of people saying things about heated honey and the benefits taken out in foreign honey, it a bogus claim as it is heated just the same in the process of putting it in corn flakes. No honey health benefits there. It's just a high carb sugar. But some would make you think that every bottle of super market honey is this illegally obtained stuff. but truth is, it's mainly used in processed foods where we only fool ourselves by thinking it is there for "healthy" reasons.
Much of the chatter about foreign honey involves the mislabeling it as something other than honey, to avoid taxes. But the bottom line, those upset most, are those collecting the 1 cent tax on the processing of honey. Imports of barrels not marked honey, do not get taxed the same. This is why they blend honey so they call it something else. But as long as the importers pay the tax, nobody in the upper circles has ever cared about any amount of imported honey, which suppresses prices here. And you really think "Honey Standards" will benefit the average beekeeper or the local honey market....you are just fooling yourself. To me it's about control, taxation, profit, and greed.
Then there is the queen programs, that for years ran around various participating states handing out literature with a few recipes provided by the honey board (promoting their site and vendors...big packers and processors), which does not promote made or produced in the U.S. products. Why a state bee association would ever spend thousands of dollars a year paying a queen to run around and not promote local agriculture, has always been something to never even mention for fear of blowback. Heck, here in Pennsylvania, the queen is only allowed to be used for honey promotional events only. Not beekeeping events, only honey promotion. Says so right on her event application. The state association to which I am very active, is not called the Pennsylvania Honey Producers Association. It is the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. Yet we currently spend in excess of 10-15 thousand dollars for one queen to run around and not even promote beekeeping, or local honey. And much of the money is for events to attend where nobody else other than beekeepers attend. Who is she there for? The listed 9 biggest Pennsylvania producers, packers, and members of the honey board love it. But does it really help the local beekeepers or the U.S. honey industry?
I think for many businesses, the system is stacked against them. Policies, taxation, and other barriers are placed, keeping imports of goods high for the sake of those in power or benefitting from them. And it crosses all industries, beekeeping included.
I am a huge supporter of local agriculture, local beekeeping, and local honey. But it seems that everytime I mention it, someone comes back with comments about how we are a global community, and such ideas are far fetched and way past their times. And that is the problem. When something as basic as the bee industry is already sold out to foreign markets.
Here is a picture of a pack of tomato's my wife brought home last week. Tomatoes produced in Canada. I'm not against Canadians. But come on. I live in the middle of agriculture central here in Pennsylvania, and we are importing tomatoes from Canada. What a joke! They can grow them up north, ship them, and sell them here,......and we cant?
I see the American worker being sold out. And the masses of many industries, like the bee industry, all being controlled by a few, while the masses walk slowly to their death like sheep going to slaughter. And if you ask the sheep, they are ignorant of the details of where they are going, are too trustworthy of those leading them, or feel that any effort to turn around is just a waste of effort. So sad!