Web Exclusive: Look out for counterfeit honey

(CNN/WTOL) - Bee-keepers across the U.S say wet weather has depleted the number of bees in their hives and with it, the amount of honey they have to sell.  That's why you may want to check your honey label twice.

"Because of weather, loss of honey bees, the bee industry is in crisis," says Ray Revis, bee keeper.
And now so is the honey industry.

"It's been loose and fast with the truth."  North Carolina beekeeper Ray Revis says as the number of bees went down, the cost of honey went up there and counterfeit jars went on the shelves.
"When purchasing honey, you need to look at where it came from.  Was it a local beekeeper that produced the honey, or is it honey that says packed by." 

It's a loophole.  Was it made by western North Carolina keepers or "packed by."

"'Packed by' honey is usually honey that's brought in from the outside," says Revis.  

Beyond the location, the mountains' trademark "Sourwood" honey that's being scammed too.

"We've had problems at some of our farmer's markets that what's being sold as local honey isn't as labeled," says Revis. 

Right now the gold-filled jars are hot. "Seems like everybody wants it," says Revis. 

Yet, in a bad bee year, Revis could only make a tenth of the syrupy substance that he usually would.

"It was that bad, a lot of beekeepers absolutely made nothing," says Revis.  

But even amid low-profits now, it's the thoughts of the long term that really stings.  "All legitimate beekeepers are concerned about the reputation of local honey and their honey."


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