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Monday, June 9, 2014

What's in my honey?


The other day, I was talking to some beeks who have one of the coolest marketing strategies for their honey ever. Apparently, they get a lot of requests for raw, local honey because people want the pollen for their allergies. So my friends got curious about what kind of pollen is actually in their own honey and consulted a palynologist.

For those of us who don't know (like I didn't until 5 minutes ago), palynology is a branch of science dealing with microscopic, decay-resistant remains of certain plants and animals -- like pollen in honey. (I mean, from all the mysteries I watch, I knew there were people who did that, I just didn't know what they were called.)

My friends happened to consult with Vaughn Bryant from A&M University. He's the man who discovered that something like 75% of commercially sold honey in the US has had its pollen removed.

I believe they said their analysis cost under $100, and they received a very thick, extensive report.

My friends only had a sample of their fall honey tested last year, but this year, they plan to have a spring sample tested as well. Then when people want honey with pollen, they can tell them exactly what kind of pollen is in there.

Because I'm a geek at heart, I also plan to get a spring and autumn sample tested. Then we can geek out together comparing our reports.

If you are curious, here is Vaughn Bryant's contact info:

Vaughn Bryant
Telephone: 409 845 5242
 vbryant@tamu.edu

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