If you are a member and have anything that you feel is important to chemical free beekeeping, please email it to me. I will post it in this section in a future issue. Thank you. Dennis

This past weekend, I lifted the back of all my hives to make sure they have enough to eat. Here in Bryan, Texas, we have days this time of year that allow us to feed if necessary. Hopefully by now you have already made sure that your bees have enough to make it through the winter months. You should check your bees by lifting the back side at least once a month. Some hives will go into the winter months with a larger population than others and will require more stores. Sometimes we can misjudge the amount of stores available and feeding will be needed in order for the bees to make it until the weather warms up and nectar sources become available for them to work.

Make sure that you take inventory of all your equipment on hand and figure out what you will need for the up-coming season. Now is the time to order any equipment you may need and start getting it ready.

I hope that we all have a better beekeeping year this year than we did last year. The drought hurt most of the Texas and Oklahoma beekeepers. A lot of the trees and plants have died from a lack of moisure so even if the weather turns around in time, there will probably be fewer nectar sources for the bees to work so keep that in mind for the coming season.

 

The following article was sent in by member "Amy Hutto";

Honey Dumping Scheme

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three people accused of misclassifying Chinese honey as rice fructose in order to avoid more than $1 million in duties have been indicted in federal court on charges related to smuggling goods into the United States and providing false descriptions of the merchandise. 

Chin Shih "Jeff" Chou, 48, from Taiwan, Qiao "Dott" Chu, 25, from China, and Wei-Tang Lo, 48, from Hacienda Heights, Calif., represented a number of honey importation companies in executing the scheme.

 According to an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the defendants labeled shipping containers filled with Chinese honey as rice fructose instead of honey to avoid a $2.63 per kilo anti-dumping duty. Once the containers of honey passed through customs, they were forwarded to a warehouse, washed of all markings and relabeled as amber honey, which was then sold to domestic purchasers. 

"HSI agents and CBP officers working together at our nation's ports of entry provide an important safeguard against those seeking to break the law for their own enrichment," said Susan McCormick, ICE HSI special agent in charge in Tampa. "This type of criminal behavior poses serious dumping risks to domestic U.S. honey producers who are in danger of being run out of the market because of this fraud."

 The investigation revealed that Chou and his associates, through various shell companies, successfully imported 900 containers of rice fructose over the past two years. HSI agents, in cooperation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), are in the process of seizing or detaining 123 containers of falsely manifested rice fructose located at 11 ports of entry throughout the United States. The loss of duty owed to the U.S. government on these containers alone is approximately $1,150,000. 

Intelligence generated by the investigation so far is leading to thousands of barrels of misclassified honey that have already entered the United States. Many more seizures are expected in the continuing investigation.