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Beekeepers warn of local honey being falsely marked

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Around the U.S., beekeepers say the wet weather has depleted the number of bees in their hives. And with fewer bees, there’s less honey to sell.

Now, beekeepers are warning consumers to check their labels twice if they’re looking to buy local honey.

“Because of weather, loss of honey bees... The bee industry is in crisis,” beekeeper Ray Revis said.

As a result, Revis says the honey industry has “...been loose and fast with the truth.” As the number of bees went down, he says the cost of honey went up along with counterfeit jars appearing on shelves.

“When purchasing honey, you need to look at where it came from,” Revis explained. “Was it a local beekeeper that produced the honey? Or is it honey that says packed by?”

Revis says that labeling can be confusing.

“’Packed by’ honey is usually honey that’s brought in from the outside,” he explained. “We’ve had problems at some of our farmer’s markets that what’s being sold as local honey isn’t as labeled.”

Revis says he’s only been able to make a tenth of the honey he typically does in a year.

“It was that bad. A lot of beekeepers absolutely made nothing,” he said.

But beyond the current low profits among beekeepers, Revis says the potential long-term effects on the industry are more alarming.

“All legitimate beekeepers are concerned about the reputation of local honey -- and their honey,” Revis said.

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