Honey | The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ‘definition of honey is rudimentary. It describes honey as “a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of plants or secretions of living parts of plants and store in honeycombs.” This somewhat insults bees, who take great care to deposit, dehydrate and allow their honey to ripen in the honeycomb, a process which is important to its taste,’ (‘The Bee’s Needs’, The Economist 01st Sept 2018 p.39).

Testing for fraud | ‘Fraudsters often harvest prematurely, leaving the liquid with a high water content. Although there are tests to screen honey for things that do not belong in it [eg. diluting it with cheaper things like corn, rice and beet syrup], Elemental Analysis Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry, the most common method, is over 25 years old. As honey fraudsters have become more sophisticated, the technology to catch them has too. A newer test that uses nuclear magnetic resonance is more effective, according to Norberto Garcia, chairman of the United States Pharmacopeia Expert Panel on Honey Quality and Authenticity. In addition to screening for over 40 unnatural substances, it can spot the geographical origin and botanical source (clover, heather, hawthorn, etc),’ (‘The Bee’s Needs’, The Economist 01st Sept 2018 p.39).

See also | The Podere Forte winery in Tuscany for its strategic positioning of its hives and the plants the bees feed from.