The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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- November 1, 2019 -

honey contest

Apimondia Montreal 2019 has now concluded. Drawing an estimated 4000 attendees, the event featured the World Beekeeping Awards, which included the competition for “Best Honey in the World.”

Each honey entry consisted of three samples, one of which was sent out for “full laboratory analysis” by an accredited facility armed with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technology, while the other two were held for judging and display in the Expo area of the show. Local Canadian volunteer Mélissa Girard, shown here, received all entries and handled shipments to the lab in the U.S.

What surprised everyone was that FULLY 45 PERCENT of entries FAILED LABORATORY ANALYSIS. Attendees walking into the competition area immediately noticed missing entries replaced with cards stating, “This exhibit has failed laboratory examination and cannot be judged further.”

Talk around the show centered around the issue of adulteration. Apimondia officials were tight-lipped about the breakdown of reasons for rejection, or those entries’ countries of origin, but stated that the lab tested for such things as illicit sugars, antibiotic and pesticide residues, HMF, and country of origin discrepancies.

As Ron Phipps noted in the pages of ABJ in September, and in a lecture at the Congress, the fight against tainted and/or adulterated honey is ongoing. While it is distressing to see almost half of honey entries failing to meet accepted standards for pure honey, the fact that testing technology appears to be working as designed has to be reassuring. Score one for the good guys.