A recent article that appeared in the NZ Farmer shared an overseas study that supposedly found traces of insecticides in New Zealand honey.
Waikato-based leading Mānuka Honey producers SummerGlow Apiaries are puzzled by the claim and lack of evidence provided in the study.
The study looked at only four samples of New Zealand honey, three of which were claimed to be Mānuka.
In contradiction to this new study, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries had tests carried out between 2013-14 and again in 2015-16, which resulted in no detection of neonicotinoids in honey for sale in New Zealand.
In the article, Apiculture NZ chief executive Karin Kos said she was surprised at the findings and would need to know more about the samples, "MPI monitors pesticides, including neonics, and their published (2013-14) tests showed no detection of neonics in the honey tested. I understand that MPI has undertaken more recent monitoring since then (2015-16 yet to be published) and again there was no detection of neonics," Kos said.
SummerGlow Apiaries support Mrs Kos statement. “Honey cannot be imported into New Zealand, so the MPI testing shows results for honey that is genuinely and wholly of New Zealand origin,” says Margaret Bennett, SummerGlow Apiaries’ co-owner.
“We have 3000 hives and produce all our honey from land we own and in from areas in which we have had our bees for more than 40 years. Much of the land from which our honey is produced is steep, rugged hill country covered in its native vegetation of Mānuka and bush; and one area is a protected wetland, a national heritage. Sprays and chemicals are virtually unheard of in these remote wilderness areas,” says Margaret.
Honey purity is hugely important to the team at SummerGlow Apiaries. “We use extreme care to ensure the purity of our honey, our hives are dedicated to honey production and do not go into orchard or cropping areas” adds Margaret.
At every step of the process, SummmerGlow Apiaries ensure that the honey their bees are producing is pure and genuine Manuka Honey. SummerGlow Apiaries Manuka Honey is guaranteed UMF16+ (Unique Manuka Factor). Rigorous testing at SummerGlow ensures and verifies that every batch is well above the stated UMF grading level.
All the honey we sell is produced by our own bees, so we know the quality of our honey,” comments Margaret. UMF criteria dictates that UMF-labelled honey must be packed and labelled in New Zealand so there is no risk of other overseas honeys getting added to it.
“This new study has highlighted the need to have an accurate and honest definition of Mānuka Honey, to have standards around what can be labelled with the name Mānuka Honey and to have the name Manuka Honey” advises Margaret.
About SummerGlow Apiaries:
SummerGlow Apiaries has have been beekeeping for over 40 years and for the past 20 years have specialised in producing high quality UMF Manuka Honey. Bill and Margaret Bennett pioneered the development of the UMF quality trademark and grading system. Thus, assuring the purity and quality of SummerGlow UMF Manuka Honey.