"This is the best (and only) stuff I’ve found to combat hayfever. I recommend it highly and heartily"
Roy Petersen

What goes into HayfeGUARD? - How is it made?

What makes us special?
Many publications write about using 'Local Honey'. We have clients calling us all the time asking for honey within a mile of where they live. As professional beekeepers we know that the flora around England does not vary greatly and bees collect hundreds of different pollens of which trace elements will be present in our local honey. Many Supermarket honeys are heat treated, killing the pollen, and most likely the honey is sourced from outside the UK which will not help you if you live here.
'Leave the honey natural, raw and as nature and the bees intended.'
Honey is a very complex natural food containing more than 400 different substances- vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, organic acids & waxes etc. Honey is very heat sensitive, losing vital aromatic oils, freshness & storage life as a result. Over filtering is also frowned upon as it removes much of the pollen & propolis particles diminishing the honeys nutritional value.
 
HayfeGuard honey is regularly tested by an impartial food analysis laboratory in Germany, where it is tested for any GMO Material, Over Heating, Pollen Analysis & Quality. A strict EU Honey Standard Directive for testing highest quality ‘Table Honey’ is applied. This consists of HMF Analysis, Low H2O levels, Proline Levels, pH-Values, Acidity Levels and Diastase Activity, all important contributing factors to determine the nutritional quality of honey.
HayfeGUARD honey test results show we surpass the industry set standards
 
The components responsible for the antibacterial activity of honey


Acidity

The pH of honey is low enough to slow down or prevent the growth of many species of bacteria, but this acidity may be neutralized if honey is directly exposed to great heat through pasturisation.

Osmoloarity

The high sugar content of honey makes the water unavailable for micro-organisms: no bacteria or fungi can grow in fully ripened honey, but the more diluted honey becomes, the more species can grow in it.

Hydrogen peroxide

The glucose oxidase enzyme activated by dilutions of honey generates hydrogen peroxide which generally is the major antibacterial factor in honey. This enzyme is inactivated by heating honey, and by exposure to light in some honeys which contain a sensitizing factor. Some honeys also contain substances which destroy the hydrogen peroxide generated by the enzyme.

Other components

Honeys from some floral sources contain various antibacterial substances, presumably produced by certain species of plants, which in some case can account for a large part of the antibacterial activity of honey.

 
What’s in quality honey?


The average composition of honey is:

18% Water
35% Glucose (dextrose)
40% Fructose (levulose)
4% Maltose, raffinose
3% Organic Substances:
Approx. 15 Organic Acids including acetic, butyric, malic...
Approx. 12 elements including potassium, calcium, sulphur..
Approx. 17 Amino acids including proline, gluamic, lysine...
Approx. 15 Proteins

Vitamins include:

Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine (B6) Vit C Ascorbic Acid

Minerials include:

Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosshorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc

 
What’s the chemical characteristics of honey?

ph and Acids

pH.................. 3.9 (3.4-6.1)
Acids.............. 0.58% (0.17-1.18%)
Primarily gluconic acid

Proteins, Amino acids, Isoelectric point

Protein................ 0.266%
Nitrogen.............. 0.043%
Amino acids........ 0.05-0.1%
Isoelectric point... 4.3

What makes a quality honey? Isn’t all honey the same?

IN SHORT- NO
Honey is a wonderfully complex food, full of vitamins and goodness. Bees are fantastic at gathering this rich nectar and converting it into honey. A common misconception is that bees gather honey from flowers- wrong. They gather a rich liquid from the flowers, but the bees themselves convert it into what we refer to as honey. Bees enrich it with minerals and enzymes making it the complex energy rich food we love and enjoy.

Once a beekeeper gets hold of it, its a very different story indeed. Honey can be badly abused by honey packers in their haste to get it out of the honeycomb and into the jar.

Here are just some of the ways honey can be compromised.

* EXTRACTING IT TOO SOON *
Bees collect nectar that is very high in water content and unstable. They ripen it by driving out the excess water, reducing it to typically 17-20% water content. At this point it is perfect and bees will then 'cap' (put a layer of wax) over the cell, sealing it closed and it can bestore indefinitely. However some honeys will crystalize quickly, rock hard in the comb. Oilseed rape is one honey that does that. Beekeepers will try and extract (spin out) the honeybefore this happens. But in their haste to beat the clock they can misjudge the timing, they can do this before the poor bees have had time to ripen it. The water content is high over 21% and as a result the honey will begin to ferment and spoil over time. So what started out as great honey is now ruined.
The EU honey directive states that honey sold as 'table honey' must be below 20%.

HayfeGUARD®- As professional beekeepers since 1924 we maintain, wait until the bees say its ready! We test water content using a honey refractometer to test H2O levels in honeycomb and extracted honey. Our EU Honey Directive test results show our levels at 16.8% a perfect result.

* HEAT TREATING THE HONEY *

All honeys begin their life with lovely subtle aromatic oils that become volatile when exposed to heat and evaporate, intensifying the sweetness and caramelise the texture. Many of our clients have been put off honey, reporting that commercial honey is too sweet, gives them a queeze feeling in their stomach, burning sensation to the back of the throat and a feeling that they have eaten pure sugar-far too much.

This is terrible! None of the above described should EVER be associated with honey. It never tastes like that in its raw form. But over heating is a major factor in the tainting of this pure food.

Bees keep a constant inner hive temperate of 30 degrees celsius. Honey exposed to this temperature and slightly above is normal. But again in their haste many honey packers will super heat treat the honey for a number of financial reasons:

1 To quickly liquid the honey so they can pump it though their ultra micro mesh filtering systems. This removes almost all of the pollen and propolis the nutritional honey material.

2 To stop it from ever crystalising, setting again. Once honey has been super heated it will never set. This is the desire of many large food chains that want uniformity forever.

However this kills it as a live food, harms it health properties, lessen its freshness and storage life. The EU Standards for quality honey is characterised by various chemical and physiochemical parameters for testing. As a result of thermal treatment of honey the content of HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural) is increased and compromises the enzymes, amino acids, proline and storage quality of the honey. Gentle warming of honey is fine.

HayfeGUARD®- We have our honey tested by impartial testing centers in Germany to conform to the EU Honey Directive. We are please to report that analysis reports find HayfeGUARD® pass with levels excelling the highest standards.

* FINE FILTERING THE HONEY *

Fine micro filtering of honey is a very talked about issue within the honey industry at the moment. It is suggested that honey should not be strained with a mesh size smaller than 0.2mm in order not to remove pollen & propolis.

The revised Codex Alimentarius Honey Standard (Codex Alimentarius Commission 2001) and EU Directive relating to honey (EU Council 2002) allow a removal of pollen if it is "unavoidable" for the removal of foreign matter. Such honey should be labelled as "filtered".

HayfeGUARD® honey is filtered using a wide weave muslin cloth, gravity filtered, not pumped. This means we allow the maximum amount of pollen & propolis particles through, while ensuring any unwanted foreign matter is excluded.

* ADULTERATION, ADDING SUGAR SYRUP TO THE HONEY *

Honey billed as a natural product should be just that- nothing added- natural! But due to the price quality honey commands it has long been the target of of adulteration. The relatively cheap price of corn syrup, cane and beetroot sugar make it a profitable solution to add this to honey to bulk its volume.

We are asked by clients if our honey is 'real honey' It took us a while to understand what this question meant. It seems common place in some areas of the world to adulterate their honey. This term 'real honey' asks, 'is it pure, nothing added', It's a sad indictment. Over the years we have seen many beekeepers prosecuted for adding sugar to bulk honey. A large legal case in the US resulted in those beekeepers facing prison time.

HayfeGUARD®- Our honeys are regularly spot check tested by the UK Trading Standards Department voluntary testing program and we ourselves have samples tested for detection analysis and records kept. Each product is batch lot numbered for record keeping. We sell only PURE HONEY.

* CONTAMINATED HONEY *

Honey must not be contaminated by veterinary drugs introduced by beekeepers which are generally the most important contaminants. This happened in the case of Chinese honey. Honey tested for import to the UK showed high levels of chloramphenicol a veterinary antibiotic medicine. Traces of it and other illegal medicines were found by EU inspectors

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) called for the withdrawal from sale all jars of Chinese and blended honey in the UK when it found chloramphenicol, an inexpensive, broad spectrum antibiotic that's so toxic it's used to treat only life-threatening infections in humans--and then only when other alternatives have been exhausted. In larger doses chloramphenicol can cause cancer

It is estimated that between a third and a half of all blended honey on sale in the UK comes from China. Approximately 80% of honey consumed in the UK is blended.

HayfeGUARD®- Honey is carefully tested and monitored. It is Pure Local English Honey, It is not a blend of world honeys and certainly not Chinese!

* UNHYGIENIC *

In our many years of beekeeping I have been amazed to see what appalling hygiene conditions some honeys are processed under and what the eyes of the general public never see. By law any food processing need to be done under a licensed premises. That means to store, prepare, distribute or sell food the premises need to be registered with your local authority.

All food handlers should be aware of the main General Food Law Requirements, keep written records of all the suppliers that provide food or any food ingredients, put food safety management procedures in place and keep up-to-date records of these. This means they must:

  • Have their premises registered.
  • Make sure the construction of their premises meet legal requirement.
  • Be fully aware and up to date of the main General Food Law Requirements.
  • Keep written records of all the suppliers that provide them with food or any food ingredients.
  • Put food safety management procedures in place and keep up-to-date records of these.
  • Ensure they and their staff understand the principles of good food hygiene.
  • Consider health and safety and fire safety arrangements.
  • Describe food and drink accurately.
  • Expect regular site inspection visits from their local authority.

Many amateur & professional beekeepers extract and bottle honey without complying to the UK food laws. Their honey finds it way to the market place and the end user. So hence the saying you get what you paid for is very true here

HayfeGUARD®- Our honeys premises are regularly inspected by Health & Safety, UKTrading Standards, HM Weights & Measures all to ensure we meet all governmentalfood guidelines. Our honey meets and surpasses all food health regulations.

 
Interesting Bee Facts!
  • The foraging area of one colony of bees is a three mile radius.
  • The honey bee has been around for over 30 million years.
  • It is the only insect that produces four different foods eaten by man.
  • Honey bees are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.
  • The honeybee's wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
  • A honey bee can fly for up to three miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence it would have to fly around 90,000 miles - three times around the globe - to make 454g of honey.
  • It takes about 556 workers to gather 454g of honey from about 2 million flowers.
  • A colony of bees consists of 40,000-60,000 honey bees and one queen.
  • Each honey bee colony has a unique scent for members identification.

 

Reference: . BKA Examination Notes JD Yates BSc (hons), BD Yates SRN, SCM