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Maru Hoani

Manuka honey with c4

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I only ever feed a hive if it needs it. I generally leave on a full depth honey box for winter consumption unless its a bit weaker and I reduce to 1 brood box. I dont do bulk feeding rounds. As long as you try your best to minimise syrup in your frames - what more can you do, other than not feeding at all and losing hives to starvation.

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I would have thought the answer easy. Don't feed honey production hives.
Well the method of choice since manuka got valuable, is run the hives in one brood box, take all honey above bottom box, then feed them sugar for the winter. A lot of hives have nothing, nada, honey in the bottom box in autumn, and once the supers are pulled have to be fed sugar, or starve.

The alternative is leave them a box of honey. But a box of honey can be worth $300 +, a feed of sugar, $30. So from a financial perspective it is a no brainer. And unfortunately, those in it to make a living, have to make money.

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keep in mind that the threshold for sugar level is almost 1 frame (out of 10).

it takes a fair bit to get over that.

we had one site that had honey that was fairly high in sugar. i think that was due to converting double broods to singles, which left quite a few honey frames in the super.

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Are you sure about that Tristan (I hope you are right)

 

Some people think C4 = 7 is 7%. But I've been told it's not that, it's much lower than 7%.

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The test measures the amount of Carbon 13 in the honey and compares it to the level of C13 in the protein in the honey. Carbon 13 exists in the atmosphere in CO2 molecules at approx 1% of all CO2. When this CO2 is taken up by photosynthesis some of the C13 is not taken up due to it being slightly heavier and the molecules don't move as fast. So there is a bias away from the 1% (to a lower percentage). And the two forms of photosynthesis bias differently, with C3 biasing more and C4 biasing less. But this biasing is variable (within various ranges) and just measuring the C13 levels of the total honey will give poor assurance of purity, hence the introduction of the protein as an internal standard. This assumes that the protein in the honey (enzymes) came from the bees and thus since it is from the same source as the honey should match the values for the honey.

 

But because this is inexact (and many of you will be seeing some flaws in the logic of mechanism already) it was tested over a large number of samples in the US (predominantly) and the stats worked out so that most honeys passed when they set the limits at 7% "apparent C4 sugars" - with anything more being deemed adulteration. But there are outliers of genuine honey that will exceed this difference and be falsley accused of being adulterated. And manuka is definitely one of those. The test can also produce results that go into negative. Iif you apply the maths in the test, you can get a negative C4 sugar value!

 

And the creator of the test also believed that sugar feeding would not show up as adulteration with C4 sugars in the test. This from the orginal 1989 paper: Honey Protein as Internal Standard for Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio Detection of Adulteration of Honey JONATHAN W. WHITE

 

"Before a honey flow, particularly in early spring, it is common practice to built up colony strength by feeding sugar syrup; HFCS as well as sucrose or invert sugar is used. The protein (enzymes) added by the bees to stores during this period would reflect the isotopic composition of that feed."

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Wow, makes a guys job hard.

 

So if I see sugar in the supers, what level do you think is reasonable safe?

 

I know you will say none. But reality is it can happen, what do you think is unlikely to give a problem?

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So if I see sugar in the supers, what level do you think is reasonable safe?

If it is manuka and has MG, there is a high probability (1:3) that it will fail the test regardless of your sugar feeding. If it is a non manuka honey e.g. pasture or some such, it is highly unlikely to fail if you have fed syrup reasonably prior to the flow.

 

Bees are said to consume around 95% of all the carbohydrates they collect. i.e. only 5% is stored as honey. But this is taken over the course of a full year and the honey crop happens in a short time. 5-10 litres of syrup fed before the flow to strong hives for insurance against a bad spell of weather my end up with some in the honey - but certainly not all of it will. And there are sucrose tests for this. And sucrose rarely goes above the 5% limit.

 

But the key thing to remember is: Manuka fails the C4 test at about 30% and pasture almost never fails.

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Very interesting. Thanks.

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If it is manuka and has MG, there is a high probability (1:3) that it will fail the test regardless of your sugar feeding. If it is a non manuka honey e.g. pasture or some such, it is highly unlikely to fail if you have fed syrup reasonably prior to the flow.

 

Bees are said to consume around 95% of all the carbohydrates they collect. i.e. only 5% is stored as honey. But this is taken over the course of a full year and the honey crop happens in a short time. 5-10 litres of syrup fed before the flow to strong hives for insurance against a bad spell of weather my end up with some in the honey - but certainly not all of it will. And there are sucrose tests for this. And sucrose rarely goes above the 5% limit.

 

But the key thing to remember is: Manuka fails the C4 test at about 30% and pasture almost never fails.

 

Thanks, I also find this fascinating.

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Of course having c4 levels above acceptable limits is usually unintentional or accidental.

sad that some may intentionally add sugared honey right upto the tolerent levels just to increase volume.

a 7% increase on your investment is better than the banks offer.

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sad that some may intentionally add sugared honey right upto the tolerent levels just to increase volume.

a 7% increase on your investment is better than the banks offer.

i think it was an indian website that sold browned sugar "for padding out your honey". it even explained its method of heating the sugar and keeping the HFS level down.

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Some people are total shameless and would sell their own mothers if they thought there was a market for little old ladies.

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I think what we're trying to say is Manuka honey returns a positive to the c4 test because the proteins in Manuka honey stuff up the current test and give false positives

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No, the Methylglyoxal in manuka chops up some of the proteins in the honey and that alters the outcome of the test to give false positives.

The same methylglyoxal that is genotoxic and is likely the cause of the many failures of the new DNA test for manuka honey.

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If that is indeed the case @Emissary, what will be the work around for that issue?

While I am here, I need to say that I appreciate your input on this forum. You do seem to have a wide knowledge of the subject and are a great help in assisting others like myself understand what is going on with Honey.

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When you got big companies coming in and offering 75$ plus per hive and your only getting half a box per hive from the Manuka flow you have to rape the hives in order to compete.

 

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

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

Are you happy with prices?

Got $12.50 for my bush honey.

Still haven't got a price for my Manuka which is now up to 13+ and am currently running out of funds after paying my leases.

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Got $12.50 for my bush honey.

Still haven't got a price for my Manuka which is now up to 13+ and am currently running out of funds after paying my leases.

Welcome to the sandpit

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