Honey and Adulteration Follow the Money

Close up of several bees clustered on a comb

A single bee seen in profile, dusted in pollen and wioth full pollen bag on her hind legHoney is the world’s third most-adulterated food. Survey after survey uncovers evidence that manufacturers — not necessarily beekeepers — are adding sugar syrups to bulk up the honey they sell. That may not be a health hazard, but it is defrauding customers, and yet there is very little public outrage, except in the immediate wake of yet another revelation of wrong-doing. Honey adulteration is nothing new, as I heard from historian Matt Phillpott, who has been studying the practice ancient and modern.


  1. Matt Phillpott writes Honeybee Histories on substack.
  2. Here’s the transcript.
  3. Banner photo by Jennifer C on flickr. Cover photo, robot bee designed by Cat7. Single bee by Brad Smith on flickr.

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  • 💬 Jeremy Cherfas

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