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The major challenge that beekeepers face is Chinese sugar adulterants which have caused great damage to the beekeeping business in India and across the world.
Beekeepers want to leave their beekeeping business because of the widespread use of harmful sugar syrup, which has become a standard adulterant in honey to spike its quantity.
It is undoubtedly a way of making a lucrative profit for big commercial brands but a big loss to Beekeepers who sell raw honey.
Honey is the third most adulterated food globally. Again, using cheap sugar adulterants from China. According to the US food fraud database.
The concerned authority knows about the Chinese adulterants and has imposed strict restrictions.
However, these adulterants trick the customs authority easily and enter several countries, including India. The trick is that it is exported from China or via other countries in the name of genuine foreign products.
In short, it is threatening and snatching away the bread and butter of beekeepers.
The reason is that liquid sugar is cheaper and easily available. Whereas raw honey comes with challenges and carries a high price tag, procuring it is never easy too.
It is consumers’ ignorance and lack of proper knowledge about pure honey helping big commercial brands sell their adulterated honey easily in the market.
As a result, beekeepers are not receiving the right price for their raw honey harvest.
Therefore, it is causing distress and unbearable loss to beekeepers who are leaving the beekeeping business rapidly.
Global warming, pollution, disease and pests that affect honey bees are causing huge losses to the beekeepers. As a result, they fall into the debt trap.
This will force them to leave the once most valuable business activity on earth – Beekeeping.
As mentioned, the tough and complex process of harvesting raw honey and unable to get reasonable raw honey prices due to the widespread use of Chinese advanced sugar adulterants are causing serious problems for genuine beekeepers.
This is causing a huge loss to agriculture because honey bees are one of the great pollinators of crops too. So, when there is less beekeeping activity, it brings less crop production. Ultimately a huge loss to farmers.
Govt. of India promises to support Beekeeping through its friendly policies to encourage the beekeeping business.
And one such policy is ‘Development of Beekeeping for Improving Crop Productivity”.
The National Bee Board, the department of the Ministry of Agriculture, has come up with the policy after studying the growing declination of beekeeping activities across the country
Furthermore, National Bee Board provides complete training to beekeepers and supports them financially along with R&D activity.
Honey bees collect the nectar from flowers during different flowering seasons.
So, for beekeepers it is a migratory process, meaning they migrate to different forests and regions where a new flowering season is about to start.
They live there with their bee boxes, monitoring honey bee colonies and harvesting honey when bees completely make honey using flower nectar.
Ultimately, you need good knowledge, experience and skills to successfully run the beekeeping business. It is very complex and never easy though we think it is.
The price of raw honey is also on the higher side. Not like the prices of commercial honey.
Raw honey never comes at such a low price, nor will there be any promotional offers like buying one or getting one free.
The reasons are:
1. High demand and less supply in the market.
2. Raw honey crystallizes, and because of the misunderstanding among consumers that honey crystallization is a sign of spoiled honey, big brands never take the risk of selling raw honey.
Therefore, big brands use these sugar adulterants and sell them as honey that you find on the supermarket shelf.
The qualities of such honey are ultra-shiny same colour, taste, and texture throughout the year. This results from ultra-filtered, cruelly heated honey mixed with sugar syrup.
When honey consumers eat liquid sugar in the name of honey, it contributes to several health issues.
It leads to blood sugar spikes that draw other diseases like diabetes, weight gain, and increased blood pressure levels.
Unfortunately, consuming sugar liquid in the name of honey may also have serious health issues for the kidney and heart.
Help yourself and help beekeepers consider leaving their beekeeping business buying raw honey.
1. Look around a local brand offline or online with direct access to beekeepers without a middleman to procure raw honey directly.
2. Check their website to find out if they offer varieties in honey. The reason is that raw honey comes in varieties of honey.
3. Also, look for the NMR test report conducted on their honey. The NMR test is an advanced honey test that detects any type of honey adulteration. It has a 100% success rate in catching adulterants in honey. However, it should be done at the German lab, INTERTEK.
4 Check the reviews of all their honey products and finally make a confirmed decision to buy pure honey.
To support honey bee survival and beekeeping business to grow, educate yourself and buy raw honey from a genuine local brand. Also, be aware of ultra-shiny commercially available honey sitting on the shelf of supermarkets.