One the first questions we are typically asked about our honey is “is your honey organic?” While we don’t use commercial treatments in our hives, nor use pesticides on our property, technically, we can say yes. However, that would be a bunch of BS!
The truth is there is no such thing as organic honey, and if someone is labeling it so, than the first question you must ask is “how are you controlling where the bees are foraging?” You see, hungry bees will forage as far as a 5-6 mile radius from their hive. In order to be certified organic, a beekeeper must have complete control of that radius, ensuring the bees do not fly through pesticides, nor forage on pesticide treated agriculture. That means they would have to own thousands of acres.
And for those “certified organic” honeys – the question that should be asked is how are the certifying entities tracking the bees to verify a beekeepers claim that the bees do not leave their property? Well, according to an article "The Mystery Behind Organic Honey by LivingMaxWell - "some U.S. certifiers are granting certification to apiaries based on USDA organic rules for livestock. Yes, livestock." I'm sorry, but last time I looked, my bees did not have Udders!
In a 2011 article written by Alex Wild of Scientific America, and a professor on beekeeping said: Organic honey isn’t impossible. It’s just beyond of the ability of most beekeepers. Bee yards situated in isolated spots deep in the Adirondacks, or mountain valleys in sparsely-populated New Mexico, can probably pull off honey free of agrochemicals. Most beekeepers operate within a bee’s flight of pesticides, however, making “organic” honey an illusory proposition.
Alex goes into deeper explanation on this “illusory” problem, so make sure to read it in its entirety.
Further, with the growing use of pesticides and GMO's world-wide, I would think it would be even more difficult to make any organic claims on honey these days.
Not convinced? Then here's more food for thought:
Is there such a thing as organic honey
The Truth About Organic Honey
Organic Honey, Is There Such a Thing?
I'm Martha Van Inwegen, and that's my perspective!