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Herbicide contamination

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I've very recently read right here a piece of what was presumably held to be spam as it's disapppeared that claimed a (named) southern beek has had an export consignment rejected for herbicide contamination. Anyone heard of this outside the forum ?

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5 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I've very recently read right here a piece of what was presumably held to be spam as it's disapppeared

It was unauthorised advertising, Not spam as such.  

Your question is valid.

 

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Yesbut, at the Apiculture Conference in Blenhiem a presenter from a NZ Honey company said their analysis had detected phthalates in propolis.

Phthalates are used in plastics as plasticisers so plastics are soft, flexible and durable. Widely used in PVC.

They are also used in some insecticides - we do not know which ones as that is a Trade Secret of the manufacturer held by the EPA and MPI.

We have no idea of the likely pathway of phthalates into propolis, that will require some intensive study.

 

I am aware that the US FDA has detected glyphosate residues in honey as has a major Australian supplier of honey, (personally advised by an Aussie supplying beekeeper).

All these detections I believe are below the level of the MRLs set by MPI Food Safety. MRL - maximum residue level.

MPI have investigated phthalate levels due to plastic packaging - download top document from here; https://www.mpi.govt.nz/mpisearch#stq=Phthalates&stp=1 

You will note that MPI did not test any bee products.

 

I am not aware that a shipment of NZ honey has been rejected because of herbicide contamination.

But I am not surprised.

Exporters should be aware that MPI sets pesticide MRLs for New Zealanders and countries importing our products set their own levels and standards.

Smart exporters should be testing their products for all contaminants before export shipment. The Horticulture industry does that now.

 

We do not have access to the data sets that the commercial labs have obtained from their clients (us beekeepers) to determine the extent of these contaminations.

We do not know if they are getting worse or not.

As the levels are generally below the set MRLs most folk are happy until they cannot sell their product!!!

 

I am trying to find out the possible exposure routes for glyphosate into honey - it is not easy. The two most likely pathways are the spraying of weeds and clover in flower or the spraying of water sources for bees. Both a permissible activities on the glyphosate label as glyphosate alone is not harmful to bees.

Beekeepers can help by not spraying round hives with glyphosate in order to avoid it wafting into the hive, landing on flowering weeds or water sources. You would be a lot safer using a lawn mower or whippy snipper.

 

Please vote for the honey levy so research on these projects can be undertaken.

 

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@Don Mac one wonders whether phthalates move directly into propolis from the plastic propolis mats most commonly used to collect it...

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@Don Mac have you seen the "homechem" experiment thats currently running?

one of the things they are looking at is phthalates in the home environment. it might give some info on reactions with plastic products.

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3 hours ago, Pinnacle said:

@Don Mac one wonders whether phthalates move directly into propolis from the plastic propolis mats most commonly used to collect it...

 

Pinnacle I am aware that some plastic hive ware has been tested for phthalates and it was not detectable.

But that does not mean it maybe a source, the ability to detect it maybe the limiting factor. Propolis mats possibly are a cause, so maybe other plastic ware to gather and hold the propolis

whilst it is being extracted and refined for use.

 

Tristan, I am not aware of the "homechem experiment" being run. I would expect in the home.

 

The two phthalates detected in propolis to date are DBP and DEHP.

DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate) is widely used in PVC to soften the product.
DEHP is banned in Europe and not acceptable for use in the US.

Not sure how this gets to the propolis, need to think about the use of PVC.

 

DBP is a plasticiser considered safe by the US EPA. It is used in hard plastics so could be coming from the propolis mat and hivewaree

 

There are some phthalate esters identified as being associated with the use of spraying oils - canola oil and coconut oil are two sources.

Propolis is gathered at bud break in deciduous trees and this can include kiwifruit, pip fuit and grapes, all shed their leaves in winter and are often sprayed with oils for pest and disease control during winter months. 

Until we can get some indepenedent testing funded we are still only guessing. 

 

I think we can say that our bees only target water, nectar, propolis and pollen  but they bring back to the hive lots of other stuff spread by mankind.

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1 hour ago, Don Mac said:

Tristan, I am not aware of the "homechem experiment" being run. I would expect in the home.

its in its early days. they are looking at chemical reactions in the home, phthalates being one of them. if i see anything that may be related i'll let you know.

 

1 hour ago, Don Mac said:

It is used in hard plastics so could be coming from the propolis mat and hivewaree

i wonder about dissolving propolis off plastic hive mats. possible leaching it out with the solvent. 

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1 minute ago, tristan said:

its in its early days. they are looking at chemical reactions in the home, phthalates being one of them. if i see anything that may be related i'll let you know.

 

i wonder about dissolving propolis off plastic hive mats. possible leaching it out with the solvent. 

I thought they cleaned the propolis mats with a water blaster. So the propolis was not actually being dissolved whilst still on the plastic mats.

 

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1 hour ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I thought they cleaned the propolis mats with a water blaster. So the propolis was not actually being dissolved whilst still on the plastic mats.

 

i've heard of a few different ways from freezing it off to just dunking it in solvent.

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34 minutes ago, tristan said:

i've heard of a few different ways from freezing it off to just dunking it in solvent.

Ok.  I knew of the freezing one, Manuka Health water blast the mats.  Interesting with the solvents.

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25 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Ok.  I knew of the freezing one, Manuka Health water blast the mats.  Interesting with the solvents.

i wonder how they do the cleaning of the scrapping ?

afaik its dissolved in solvent and the wax floats off. its then run through a separator and dried. would love to see the machinery they use for it.

theres plenty of rubbish that gets in with the scrapping. bits of mite strips, bit of wood treatment from the boxes etc.

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Hi it was not intentional to advertise to sell our product so apologies as I don't know the rules and regs of various sites these days.

We simply want to share with other bee keepers our concerns around the use of toxic sprays which may affect their bees. Our 

customer encouraged us to get in contact with you because of his experience he had with contamination in his honey which was

glyphosate. We wanted the bee keepers to know there are other safe natural herbicides now on the market so they can then do their

research to then make an informed decision as to what they want to use. Nothing more than that. Our company is concerned about

the decline in the bee numbers worldwide hence us producing products which are sustainable and kind to nature. We hope you 

understand why we made our previous post it was totally meant to be one of care and help. Thank you.

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My big concern now that I am the owner of a hive is the common practice of roadside spraying (compliments of the council). They wont sway with what they are spraying with either. Rurally I know they spray blackberry, among other things Round up is banned in other many other countries I was wondering what do other bee keepers do? Do I assume the bees will be preoccupied with other things? There is a lot pasture here in my area and my neighbours are into permaculture and no spray. My new little hive of bees are feasting on all their trees  (Aurea  pohutukawa and my clover right at the moment). 

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I spray the weeds around the hives with glyphosate, probably 3 times a year or so. So how likely is it I would have glyphosate in the honey? And, where could I send a sample to find out? 

 

Also

8 hours ago, Trish Goulter said:

We wanted the bee keepers to know there are other safe natural herbicides now 

 

How safe? Has your herbicide been shown to not leave residues in honey if used around hives? Is it safer than glyphosate? How do you define safe?

 

I'll test my honey if that is possible. If there is glyphosate in it I'll switch to your herbicide, IF you can give acceptable answers to the above questions.

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Some buyers already test honey for Glyphosate, have done for a bit. 

Its so ingrained into our lives the stuff is everywhere..

cockies spray the paddock off and then graze the dead grass off hard before re drilling as one example.. 

it does show in Honey and you have to ask yourself is it simply in the ecosystem now.. showing up in nectar of the plants and taken up by the roots in tiny amounts. 

 

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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

cockies spray the paddock off and then graze the dead grass off hard before re drilling as one example

Yea gods

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I would suggest that spraying around the front of beehives is the most likely contamination source . That is the one potential source that beekeepers have full control over . Most paddocks are sprayed in sept/oct and mar/April , so less likely to be a source in my view . 

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So, anyone know where I could get a sample tested?

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22 minutes ago, Alastair said:

So, anyone know where I could get a sample tested?

Hill laboratories in Hamilton would likely do it, give them a call

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30 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Maybe @JohnF

 

Nope, not us at dnature Trevor - but thanks for the thought. If it doesn't have DNA. . . .

Analytica do test for it - Hills one may be part of larger panel?

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Will try it. I have recently harvested from sites where the grass around the hives is kept down with glyphosate so that will be interesting, I will get back here with the results in due course.

 

Will definately be in the market for a safe alternative if any contamination is found, so I'm a tad dissapointed that @Trish Goulter came here to push her safe natural product, but then vanished when asked some questions about it.

 

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Below a link to a page of theirs:

https://www.naturalherbicide.co.nz/faq/

Interesting alternative in my view and produced in NZ of course.

No doubt there are other alternatives available too. Might be something we all should be researching.

As to safety about our hives and honey (reisdues) I wonder if this is currently a bridge too far for the maker to pass much comment on. Liabilities could be huge I imagine.

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I suspect you are correct, it is a bridge to far for them.

 

However they come here promoting their product to beekeepers as better, but when the chips are down they cannot back their statement. We do not know if it is better.

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