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Beekeepers warn of fake honey

Honey can be used to make wine as well.

Eastern Highveld Beekeepers’ Association warned people to be on the lookout for fake honey that’s being sold on the market currently.

This was done during its beekeeping educational programme that was held at Heckers Garden Centre on October 28.

The chairperson of the Eastern Highveld Beekeepers’ Association, Pete Beart, who has been a beekeeper for four years, said a lot of these fake honey farmers have been arrested.

“There are growing numbers of them. They use sugar in large quantities to produce fake honey and that poses a risk for consumers, especially those with diabetes.

“People with diabetes normally use honey as a substitute for sugar, and the fake honey will be very deadly to them because they will be consuming large quantities of sugar,” he explained.

Beart said the Earthwatch Institute declared in early October that bees are an important species in the world and they need to be protected.

Len Boucher, a beekeeper and bee remover.

“They play an integral role in the farming fraternity, they can be kept for farming purposes and they can help in the reproduction process of other plants.

“A bee farmer has to be registered with beekeeping bodies like our association to practice bee farming,” Beart explained.

He added that there are also certain courses a person has to go through to be a beekeeper.

“In South Africa, we have two types of bees, the local one which is the Apis Mellifera Scutellata and the other one which is the Apis Mellifera Capensis.

“But it’s also important for people to know that there are also Africanized bees ‘killer bees’ that are found all over Africa.

“They are one of the most dangerous species of bees in the world. People have to treat them with respect and should be very cautious around them,” he stressed.

Frieda Garver sells her cosmetics she made out of honey.

He mentioned that their association was established to monitor and sustain the beekeeping industry in Ekurhuleni.

“Our association meets at the Highveld Honey farms in Benoni every second Saturday of the month,” he stated.
Len Boucher, who is a beekeeper and a professional bee remover, said it’s important for people to call a bee remover specialist whenever they encounter bee nests on their properties.

“Bees are precious so we need to save them so that we can save our planet. I first got involved in bee removal in 2010, when we had bees on our property. I called a company to remove the bees and I was disappointed with their removal tactics.

“It was clear to me that the bees wouldn’t survive with this kind of removal, and in the same year I became a bee remover myself,” Boucher explained.

He said it started as a hobby for him then it escalated into a profession.

“As a beekeeper and remover I discovered that most cultures in the world believe that bees bring prosperity in people’s lives, and I do believe that because I found love in what I’m doing,” he said.

A lot of beekeepers graced the programme selling the items they made out of honey.

Anyone who wants services of a bee remover may call Boucher on 081 209 5384.

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