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Maru Hoani

Manuka honey with c4

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This season my manuka honey came back with c4 levels 6.9 and 7.5 what do I do??

it seems to be a wide spread problem this season???

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One option is sell it to someone who can dilute it with other honey & get c4 down.

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Manuka is known to give false c4 tests. Been stripping hives to singles before supering with dedicated Boxs and overwintering on honey. No sugar feed and still get c4 results.

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Manuka is known to give false c4 tests. Been stripping hives to singles before supering with dedicated Boxs and overwintering on honey. No sugar feed and still get c4 results.

Could the sugar come from weak hives nearby? Reported hive density around Manuka is high and last season was difficult with lots of beeks feeding sugar well into the season.

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Could the sugar come from weak hives nearby? Reported hive density around Manuka is high and last season was difficult with lots of beeks feeding sugar well into the season.

In my experience hives can be stealth robbed for ages before it's noticed.

I brought some red food colouring the other day to put in my syrup feed.

But I think I might buy other colours and use a different colour on each hive so I can see who's robbing who

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Have had some reports of stealth bulk feeding sugar when beeks squeezed hard in some areas

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I have had similar results from Manuka. C4's around 6's. These hives - 150, were choppered in onto Manuka so very remote and unlikely to be robbing nearby hives. Honey from all my other hives around home - 200, on bush and clover came back with 0 c4's from all 8 batch tests. These hives had frames left from winter which may have had a bit of syrup in. Go figure.

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I got 10 drums of umf 13+ and 20 drums of bush honey and haven't heard back from my buyer and iv been waiting a few months. who do you sell your honey to?

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I havent sold my honey yet. Still a bit of growth left in the Manuka. Heaps of buyers around (all the big players, also check Beekeeper magazine). I know noone was really buying because of the wait on the new Manuka standard. I think things are slowly moving now.

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search the forum, there's a good post on the possible impacts of sugar syrup in low flow seasons on c4.

####ty thing is that you can't search the string "c4" - pretty crap search limitation, hopefully a mod can help out

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not sure on the appropriateness of posting content from other sources, but whatever - i'm sure the mods will tell me if it's out of line? ok, turns out i couldn't copy paste the whole thread cos it's too long. try this.

Backyard beekeeping NZ

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One option is sell it to someone who can dilute it with other honey & get c4 down.

A have been trying to sell for months. Do you know of anyone?

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Give Cammels honey a go

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A have been trying to sell for months. Do you know of anyone?

You are not the only one I know of having difficulty selling this year

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Honey is starting to move again. Finally

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Honey is starting to move again. Finally

 

Excellent pleased to hear that it's been a strange season that's for sure.

Are you happy with prices?

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Weird how pasture and bush honey off hives that are fed sugar then supered for flow (not stripped down) then stripped of all Boxs of honey, with no effort taken to separate possibly contaminated honey, show no c4 in tests. Just saying

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"C4 sugars" is a misnomer for most of the "detections" for manuka honey - and one of the reasons the phrase "apparent C4 sugars" is routinely used.

Of all the samples recorded by Karyne Rogers from GNS, virtually all of the non manuka honeys (over 700 I think) pass (not actually aware of one fail) while 30% or more of the manuka honeys (over 1,000 total samples) fail.

She published a paper where DHA was added to clover honey at several levels up to 8,000 ppm and produced an increase of "C4 sugars" from below the level of "detection" (7%) to over 13%. One suggested mechanism (there may be more) is that the MG is reacting with the protein in the honey that is used for an internal reference. If you change the amount of this protein (and its C13 signature) it will change the amount of "C4 sugar" determination.

 

And the reason I am using "quotation marks" is that C4 sugars are sugars derived from plants with C4 photosynthesis - named after a key intermediate molecule during photosynthesis that has 4 Carbon atoms. The other version of photosynthesis is C3 where the key intermediate molecule has 3 Carbon atoms. C4 plants include sugar cane and corn (producing high fructose corn syrup) where C3 plants are the flowering plants that honey is produced from. So if a genuine honey gets a "C4 Sugar" determination, it is an artifact of the test and not really C4 sugars at all - thus "apparent C4 sugars".

 

Unfortunately, sugar adulteration of honey with C4 sugars is one of the major issues Worldwide damaging the World honey market. And acknowledging that the Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis (SCIRA) test for C4 sugars in honey has some issues is not something that the international regulators want to do, as without it, a stream of fraudulent activity would rapidly become a flood. Buying sugar at $1 per kilo, then adding it to honey and selling it at $4 per kilo is an economic proposal that is highly attractive to many. So getting acknowledgement that manuka has an identifiable exception is the problem rather than proving the test fails for manuka. And one of the more difficult countries to get this acknowledgement from is China, who have a penchant for adulteration of honey with C4 sugars - amongst other things.

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Weird how pasture and bush honey off hives that are fed sugar then supered for flow (not stripped down) then stripped of all Boxs of honey, with no effort taken to separate possibly contaminated honey, show no c4 in tests. Just saying

If this comment is related to my post. I do take effort to remove any honey frames that may have sugar in them from my 2nd brood which in effect is a honey box (seperated by an excluder). Any hive that is fed is labelled on the lid. In these hives in spring I either drop honey frames into the brood box below, take honey frames for splits or take the box away and replace with a fresh wet. You can never be 100% sure that the bees dont move syrup up into honey boxes, or miss a frame. Which is why I was saying if there was going to be a c4 result, it would be in my bush/pasture spring batches of honey.

If you comment was not related to my post, and was a comment based on your beekeeping practices then disregard.

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You can never be 100% sure that the bees dont move syrup up into honey boxes,
Since I started using coloured syrup last year I've been amazed how the bees do move it around. Not only that, but it even gets blended into new honey they collect, and moved up a box. What I saw scared me in terms of trying to produce c4 free honey.

Bottom line, if there is any sugar at all in the hive it can potentially end up in the supers. If using 2 brood boxes the chances of sugar being moved up are lower, but if using one brood box as per common current practise, there is every chance of sugar being moved up once the flow starts and bees have to clear room in the bottom box for more brood raising.

 

I am still wrestling with just what to do about this, I don't know. It would be OK if one new exactly what day the flow will start, but as last season showed, you often don't.

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Since I started using coloured syrup last year I've been amazed how the bees do move it around. Not only that, but it even gets blended into new honey they collect, and moved up a box. What I saw scared me in terms of trying to produce c4 free honey.

Bottom line, if there is any sugar at all in the hive it can potentially end up in the supers. I am still wrestling with just what to do about this, I don't know.

I would have thought the answer easy. Don't feed honey production hives.

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I don't follow the logic.

 

If c4 is detected as an artifact of the testing method, then not feeding hives won't make any difference.

 

The problem is said to be the test, so get that solved.

 

Or am I missing the point ?

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