First Published: 20th August, 2020. Region 9, Guyana, South AmericaLast updated: April 26, 2023 at 18:42 pm
RUPUNUNI HONEY BEING TAINTED BY IMPORTED HONEY OF QUESTIONABLE QUALITY
Rupununi, the savannahs with mountains, rivers, and creeks, bordering the country of Brazil…. The beekeepers and gatherers of honey in Rupununi do produce a bit of honey which is sold locally and a very small percentage sold to the coast of Guyana. There has been an increasing trend of honey reaching the coast of Guyana and being sold as ”Rupununi Honey” or “Lethem Honey” or “Pure Honey.”
This honey is trucked from Region 9 to Georgetown, Guyana in 5 gallon containers. It is resold wholesale to persons who then bottle it in table sized bottles and resold as “Honey.”
WHERE DOES THIS HONEY COME FROM? I believe the persons who buy this honey in Georgetown or elsewhere on the coast genuinely believe this honey to be from the Rupununi. Either they are being duped or they themselves are part of the scheme.
This honey originates in Brazil. It is being imported without any markings on the containers or any other way of tracing the source of this honey. Some of it has even been known to originate in Venezuela before it enters into Brazil then Guyana.
The Brazilians have stringent regulations of their honey and will not allow honey to be sold to consumers without proper labeling. However this honey comes into Guyana unmarked and is somehow allowed onto our consumer market without proper knowledge of the source of this honey.
If it is honey at all, is anyone’s guess. It gives the illusion that Rupununi produces massive amounts of honey. When on the coast, I have asked the persons selling the honey at the stalls or shops, “Where does your honey come from?”
Their answers surprised me: “it come from Lethem” – “in Lethem we got the honey farm” etc.
All my life I have not seen a farm in Lethem that can produce that quantity of honey. Mind you, Rupununi does have beekeepers, I, myself being one for over eight years. We do produce honey and sell, but not tons.
I have received several phone calls and requests to buy this honey that comes in the 5 gallon containers. Persons want to buy in bulk to resell and they want to know where to get it from. It seems to be a profitable business as it seems that it can be bought cheap. Customers are being led to believe that this cheap honey is being produced in Rupununi, Guyana when it is not. It is coming from some very questionable sources.
“If you don’t know the beekeeper, you don’t know if it is honey.” Please be wary folks, lots of the honey being sold is not what it is supposed to be.
Special thanks to Rupununi Beekeeper, Yimochi Melville, for sharing this insightful story with us.
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