Authenticity of Honey and other Bee Products
The authenticity issue is especially important for natural products such as bee products. Thus, existing standards for such products are a basis for authenticity testing. An important part of the work of the International Honey Commission (IHC) is to develop and improve these standards. The honey standard of Codex Alimentarius was set in 2001 essentially as proposed by the IHC. At present IHC groups are elaborating standards on all other bee products excepting venom. One of the authors of this paper (Stefan Bogdanov) is coordinating the IHC work on the standardisation of the bee products. This work was crowned by submitting publications proposing drafts for standards of poplar propolis, royal jelly and pollen (see below). The beeswax group, headed by Hansjoachim Roth from the Ceralyse laboratory in Bremen is working on a paper on the standardisation of beeswax. However, the example of honey shows that there is a lot of work remaining
until eventually world standards for these bee products can be established within the frame of the Codex. A drawback for the proposed standard drafts (with the exception of the wax standard draft) is that they are based on existing national standards and on publications which were carried out with different methods and in different countries. This inevitably leads to a very large variation of the proposed limits. For bee products other than honey the next step is to set up standardised methods for the establishment of the standard.