Organic Chocolate Sugar Candy Bar in Guatemala,Where ?

Organic Chocolate Sugar Candy Bar in Guatemala,Where ?

 In a google search for organic sugar in Guatemala I certainly didn’t find any which is sort of what I expected.
Where companies that claim to get organic sugar such as Vitasoy SOY MILK and I presume SOME chocolate bar makers in the U.S. get it from is not very obvious.I do believe I heard about some in Bolivia but even then the environmental damage of clearing a diverse tropical ecosystems to cultivate even ‘organic’ sugar cane seems tragic.I guess that just as the last phase of Maya civilization before its ultimate collapse is called by archeologists,Late Classic Maya,so are we ‘Late Classic Industrial ‘civilization’.
We do have at least one store here that claims to sell ‘organic’ chocolate bars and truffles,etc., but it seems rather fraudulant to me in light of the fact that organic sugar is no where to be found and if sugar is AT LEAST 30% of the ingredients it seems a little silly to emphasize that the cacao is ‘organic’,doesn’t it ? Yet another reason for our cacao-honey bars……..
A minimally refined brown sugar in the form of a brick has and is sold in markets around Guatemala and if it is from some minor sugar ane harvest outside the major sugarcane monculture of the Pacific coastal plain then PERHAPS
it might be cultivated with minimal pessticide use.However none is certified and all the chocolate bars or confections by so-called ‘chocolatiers’ uses highly processed white glazed sugar and would come from the mono-culture that has even been suspect in causing kidney failure recently from pesticide use.And even when or where in the world sugarcane is cultivated it is always at the expense of trees and perenial plants that are so much better at conserving soil from wind and water erosion.It appears to me that although imported sugarcane sugar used to feed bees in the north temperate zones paradoxically allows them to survive until they can search for real flower nectar and contribute to essential pollination of field crops in the nect warm season,the rpical sugarcane monoculture itself contributes to a bee desert where bees have no source of nectar or pollen.

View Full Version : Cane Sugar Honey?


02-16-2012, 07:07 AM
When we feed bees sugar syrup in the fall and they store it in combs, is what they store simply sugar syrup, or has what is behind the cappings been processed enough by the bees to be called “cane sugar honey”?

02-16-2012, 08:08 AM
feeding sugar along with a honey flow they might store it. but feeding sugar on new packages is used for building new comb. on hives getting low on store they will store but if there storing it you wouldn’t be extracting it.
if feeding on a honey flow the bees just wont take up sugar if the nectar is coming in. when there is a flow I don’t feed.

02-16-2012, 08:18 AM
I wasn’t suggesting that what the bees store would be something to extract or harvest. I just wanted to know it the syrup goes through the same kind of process that nectar does as the bees ingest it, then regurgitate it and evaporate it, all the while adding those digestive juices that ultimately become part of honey. The thought just struck me yesterday while I was inspecting some hives that had taken up a lot of syrup last fall. I noticed a frame that they were uncapping and its contents were water white–clear as glass. So I got to wondering, even though the source of the sugar wasn’t from nectar, is the end product still considered honey?

02-16-2012, 08:23 AM
No, its sugar syrup, even if the bees did concentrate it and probably enzymatically change it some.

At least in the states which have adopted a definition of honey, the substance in your comb cannot be called or labeled honey unless it came exclusively from flower nectar.

Most bees will store syrup when fed continuously, which is a good thing if you have a poor fall flow after harvesting honey….


02-16-2012, 08:25 AM
It would not be honey by any common or legal concept. Honey is from that which is collected by bees from the flower of a plant.
It could only be Sugar Cane Honey if it was from what the bees collected from the blossom of the cane plant.

Regardless of what the bees have done to it the source does not originate from the flower of the plant.
This is the issue with the chinese non-honey honey. People are going to jail for calling it honey.

02-16-2012, 08:36 AM
jrbbees, hit it exactly. True Honey by any name is from the flower of plants and therefore MUST contain pollen. Syrup you have feed to the bees is neither from the flower, nor has pollen in it, therefore it cannot be called honey.
There is a big “to do” about honey being tested for pollen spores on here somewhere. I read it a few months back.

02-16-2012, 08:44 AM
Two earlier posts imply that the syrup would be taken from the hive and put in a jar with a label calling it honey. I’m thinking of this strictly as bee food. I’m only asking in an objective way if the physical changes that occur when processed by the bees would make the syrup into a “honey-like substance”? When the bees dig into their stored syrup do they get similar benefits that they would get from stored nectar? What about if they found a sugar maple that was leaking sap and brought that back to the hive? It has sugar, but it’s not from nectar. So would the end product not be considered honey? Come on Ace, weigh in on this one!

02-16-2012, 08:49 AM
jrbbees, hit it exactly. True Honey by any name is from the flower of plants and therefore MUST contain pollen. Syrup you have feed to the bees is neither from the flower, nor has pollen in it, therefore it cannot be called honey.
So what about big packing houses that process honey by heating it and filtering out all the pollen? Is it no longer considered honey if it has the pollen removed?

02-16-2012, 09:18 AM
Is it no longer considered honey if it has the pollen removed?

Actually that’s true Tim. Honey must contain pollen to be considered honey. A recent test of box store honey revealed that up to 60% of it does NOT contain pollen and therefore is not considered honey……….

02-16-2012, 11:29 AM
Actually that’s true Tim. Honey must contain pollen to be considered honey. A recent test of box store honey revealed that up to 60% of it does NOT contain pollen and therefore is not considered honey……….
I never knew that! It’s good to know that there is some verifiable way to determine what honey is. It’s also disturbing to know that more than half of the “honey” sold in big box stores is not honey at all….more ammunition for the “Support Your Local Beekeeper” campaign.
I’m sure that in addition to the pollen, the extratives in the plant nectar help to make honey unique. Those would be lacking in stored syrup. Still, I wondered if the contribution of the bees digestive juices was enough to chemically alter the syrup into what might be considered honey. I am in no way advocating that anyone should pass off syrup as honey. I’m simply asking a chemistry question. It’s apparent that under a microscope the defining difference, from a legal and semantics standpoint, is the presence, or lack thereof, of pollen. I suspect there is more to it than that.

02-16-2012, 11:51 AM
Come on Ace, weigh in on this one!

I have been busy with the parsed thread that Barry started for me…

To be honest I am not really sure how the letter of the law would fall. The big commercial operations filter out the pollen so does that now make it not honey? GM still has the word honey on their Honey Nut Cheerios. Doesn’t seem as though they would be allowed to use the word honey if they were breaking the law.

People say bees use sugar syrup as honey so if that is true I would have to say yes. At least in their view. That pretty much says the same for tree sap and honeydew.

On the China thing, it doesn’t make sense to me that a barrel of honey would be void of all pollen unless they filter it. How could there not be any pollen at all in it unless they were filtering it. Are they filtering it because that is what General Mills specs?

02-16-2012, 12:16 PM
The bees do process the syrup to reduce the water content to below 18% before they cap it, so yes, it has been enzymatically altered somewhat. Very likely an analysis will show considerable unaltered sucrose, though. If you were feeding 2:1 syrup there will have been somewhat less processing as there is less water to remove, and in fact you can fill comb on one side with 2:1 syrup for emergency feeding with great success (if very careful). Messy, but the bees then have syrup in the comb where they need it.

What is lacking will be all the floral essences and other constitutents of nectar that give honey it’s color and flavor.

It will serve the bees well, since the vast majority of the content of honey is invert sugar (glucose and fructose), but it won’t have any flavor to speak of. Any vital plant compounds will be missing as well, so it’s probably not as nutritious for the bees, but it’s still better than no food!

As far as the Chinese fake honey goes, the reason it has no pollen is that it’s not a bee product at all, it’s flavored inverted cane sugar or HFCS, never been in a bee hive, and NOT honey by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. Honey adulterated with HFCS is also common in the Third World, since it’s vastly cheaper to “make” than real honey. That too will have very little pollen since what was there in the original honey that was “thinned” with HFCS will be diluted out.


02-16-2012, 12:31 PM
As far as the Chinese fake honey goes, the reason it has no pollen is that it’s not a bee product at all, it’s flavored inverted cane sugar or HFCS, never been in a bee hive, and NOT honey by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.

I have no respect for corporate America but I can’t see General Mills falling for that one. I could see them using American barrels of HFCS and a jar of honey in their Honey Nut Cheerio’s.

02-16-2012, 03:23 PM
psfred; where are you getting this info? I’ve seen many, many reports of Chinese honey that is contaminated with antibiotics, chemical mite treatments etc, but have never seen any report that it’s all HFCS or sugar syrup. China has a wealth of agriculture to make honey from, doubt they’re spending money to buy syrup. Sugar is a luxury food item in China; humans eat what little they can afford and I don’t believe they waste it on bees…….

Feeding bees

The ability of honey bees to direct their nest mates to new food sources has, without doubt, been an essential element in their evolution. Floral resources are spread through the landscape in a patchy and fragmented way and for each honey bee to find each nectar source individually would be so inefficient that it would compromise the survival of the colony.

The sophisticated social organisation that enables the efficient collection and storage of both nectar and pollen in times of plenty which allows then to survive during times of dearth is a key feature of the honey bees‘ biology. Tropical bees have slightly more flexible patterns of survival during dearth periods. They will probably store an excess of honey and pollen. However, they also have the potential to migrate or abscond to a place where nectar and pollen may be more easily available.  Beekeepers should be sure not to rob the bees of ALL their honey stores. The bees will need some of the honey they have stored to maintain their own life or they will either die or abscond.

Nectar and honey form the energy (or carbohydrate) element of the bees‘ diet while pollen forms the proteinaceous part of their diet. Both pollen and nectar are essential to normal colony growth.  Without nectar the colony has no energy with which to perform its normal tasks and without pollen young bees cannot be reared.

Where bees abscond frequently it is an indication that food, probably nectar is limited within the environment.  Feeding bees is common in temperate bees; perhaps where the bees have collected  insufficient honey or perhaps where too much honey has been harvested from a colony. In these cases  the feeding of refined white sugar (sucrose) will enable to bees to survive a long period of dearth.  Raw, unrefined brown sugar or molasses is NOT suitable for feeding bees as they lack the enzymes to deal with the complex sugars that remain in the unrefined sugar and will die of dysentery.  The writer has however, tried pulping the sugar from sugar cane and feeding the resulting  jelly like substance. This appeared to be acceptable to the bees. However, it went mouldy very quickly so needed replenishing frequently. There was no long term experimentation or feedback from this method to indicate how it affected honey bee survival.

Feeding pollen is also practised in areas where pollen is limited. This is most likely to be in the monoculture agricultural landscapes that are associated with large-scale industrialised farming. There are many places in the world where there is plenty of forage, both nectar and pollen. The level of bee absconding and ease of colonisation is probably an indicator of the richness and health of the environment (for the people who live there as well as the bees).

If beekeepers believe either pollen or nectar shortage is affecting the bees, the first line of investigation should be the availability of enough suitable tree species and the implementation of a planting programme if possible.

It is possible, but usually not feasible to feed bees sugar to reduce their propensity to abscond. However, in most places where beekeeping is being used as a poverty alleviation tool it is not an affordable technique. It is probably better that the beekeepers use the sugar for their household needs rather than for the bees. It is not practical in fixed comb hives. Feeding must be done within the confines of the hive if it is not to cause a frenzy of bees robbing and possibly killing the smaller colonies and taking their food. Sugar feeding, where it is practised, is usually done in the evening when there is less chance of disrupting other colonies in the area.  Special feeding equipment is also needed.

In most cases syrup made of about 1 kilo of sugar mixed into 1 litre of water is sufficient. There are variations on this recipe depending on the area of the world, the ambient temperature outside the colony and the possibility of the bees being able to ripen the sugar sufficiently for it to store correctly will affect the exact means of feeding the bees. Feeding sugar is usually practised at the start of the dearth period and the amount of sugar and honey the colony needs to survive through the dearth period is carefully calculated. There are some specialist procedures, such as queen rearing where additional, artificial feeding may be necessary.

Feeding pollen is normally practised at the start of the colony build up period. This is the time when protein demands will be highest as the bees are rearing large numbers of young brood. If the colony build up seems unusual and there are no signs of pollen in the colony then it is possible that supplementary pollen feeding may be helpful.  

Our top reading selection

Adjare, O.S. 1990. Beekeeping in Africa; FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin 68/6. FAO Rome. click here for external link to text (then click ‘all 3 versions’ of first link on list).

Winston, M.L. 1987. The Biology of the Honey Bee.  Harvard University Press, London. click here to view in our bookstore

Punchihewa, R. W. K. 1994. Beekeeping for honey production in Sri Lanka. CIDA Quebec, Canada. click here to view in our bookstore

Jensen, M. 2007. Beekeeping with Apis cerana indica; some important aspects of colony management. Danish Beekeepers Association, Borup, Denmark. click here to view in our bookstore

Carroll, T. 2006. A Beginners Guide to Beekeeping in Kenya. Legacy Books. Nairobi. click here to view in our bookstore

On the other hand it appears to me that the collapse of Late Classic Industrial ‘Civilization’ will be much more profound than past collapses probably due to over population combined with soil depletion and collapse…It is obvious that while the Maya of the tropical forset of Meso America collpsed and evidence exists that corresponds increased Maya population with increased sedimentation of soil minerals,particulary phosphates,
the collapse was localized to the extent that the genetically diverse ecosystems they were inhabiting and exploiting still housed enough or most of the life forms their civilzation and population was exploiting.In other words jaguars survived.Howler and spider money survived.Precious trees unique and indigenous to what is now called the Guatemala Peten where Maya civilization flourished survived to reinhabit the pyramidfs and other human made structures that the corn and bean and perhaps manioc civilization of the Maya had built
on land that was formerly pristine.
I’m not so sure this is occuring today and in many cases unlike after the Maya collapse of over a thousand years ago,the present population of humans in the Peten is indeed leading to mammalian and plant extinctions that the Maya civilization before its collapse didn’t occur.And this same situation can be seen at present around the world where in Asia the Orangutan is being driven to extinction as one example and in Africa our closet non-human ape relative in Africa, the Bonobo or pygmy  chimpanzee, and probably all chimpanzees are  expected to be extinct soon do to their  closet ape relative – us !

Images for orangutan

 – Report images


  1. Orangutans May Be Closest Human Relatives, Not Chimps…/090623-humans-chimps-related.htm…

    23 Jun 2009 – Gene studies linking humans to modern African apes are flawed, says a new study that argues we have more physical traits in common with the

  2. How humans are 97% the same as orangutans: New research…/How-humans-97-orangutans-New-research-s…

    27 Jan 2011 – Although it makes orangutans less closely related to us than chimps – who have 99 per cent of DNA in common – a small portion of orangutan

  3. Hominidae : chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans

    Hominidae. chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, humans. Until recently, most classifications included only humans in this family; other apes were put in the family .

    100 orangutans estimated lost in Indonesian fires

    Atlanta Journal Constitution – 28 Mar 2012
    AP JAKARTA, Indonesia — Fires raging in an Indonesian swamp forest may have killed a third of the rare Sumatran orangutans living there and all of them may

    Orangutans may be wiped out – warning‎ Herald Sun
    Orangutans in Indonesia’s Aceh forest may die out in weeks‎ Economic Times
    all 214 news articles »


    Orangutans in danger

    The Japan Times – 5 days ago
    The word “orangutan” comes from the Malay and Indonesian words meaning “person of the forest.” Unfortunately, soon there may be no forest and no “person,”

    Indonesia court refuses to stop forest development

    Washington Post – 3 Apr 2012
    The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program has said that orangutans could disappear from Tripa by the year’s end if palm oil companies keep setting

    Hundreds of orangutans killed in north Indonesian forest fires

    Daily Mail – 29 Mar 2012
    By Richard Shears Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies. Conservationists say the rare Sumatran

    Orangutans in Indonesia’s Aceh forest may die out in weeks‎ Reuters
    100 orangutans estimated lost in Indonesian fires‎ The Associated Press
    Fires threaten Sumatran orangutans‎

Bonobo Chimps: Girls Rule! – YouTube Nov 2007 – 1 min – Uploaded by NationalGeographic
In bonobo society, it’s the females that rule the world. See New Bonobo Baby

Guatemala: sugarcane’s bitter consequences

In our country, one of the crops that has caused the most negative impacts from its start to the present day is sugarcane. The sugarcane plantations are located in the Pacific Plains, a rich area with fertile soils of volcanic origin and abundant water from rainfall and the rivers born in the volcanic chain. These conditions were perfect for the development of this crop and the expansion of sugar mills. Today Guatemala is the fifth largest exporter of sugar in the world and second in production in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Presently, 14 sugar mills are in operation and in 2007 sugarcane plantations covered 216,000 hectares, approximately the same size as the Department of Guatemala (225,300 hectares) an appreciable area considering the size of our country (108,889 km2).
One of the most serious problems of monoculture sugarcane plantations is the total destruction of the ecosystems where they are located. In Guatemala this has led to the disappearance of vast areas of forest.
Added to the above is the exaggerated use of water which affects the human communities and causes direct and indirect negative impacts on terrestrial and coastal marine ecosystems. Burning sugarcane contaminates the environment, affects the health of neighbouring communities and releases CO2, one of the greenhouse gases. The burning of these plantations, year after year contributes to increasing global warming. During the harvest, the sugar mills change the course of rivers towards their plantations, leaving the communities without water; while at the same time also dumping their contaminated waste in them.
The canals and ditches, opened up for irrigation in the plantations, carry the water inland and cause flooding during the rainy season, placing many villages at risk. To this is added the contamination caused by the excessive use of agrochemicals, pesticides and chemical ripeners that are transported by the rivers towards coastal marine ecosystems such as mangroves.
One of the problems encountered by the sugar industry is the amount of land available to expand its plantations. According to statements made in 2007 by Armando Boesche, manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Growers Association (Asazgua – Asociación de Azucareros de Guatemala) “Now there is no land available because we have reached the limit.” This situation has become a threat to ecosystems and local inhabitants and is sensitive in a country where land disputes have led to wars, disappearances and death.
A clear example of the lack of land was the transfer in 2006 of the Guadalupe sugar mill to the Polochic River valley in Izabal near the wildlife refuge and Ramsar Site of Bocas del Polochic. This situation directly and indirectly threatens the wetlands and wildlife due to the changing of river courses and the use of agrochemicals that are transported to this body of water by rain and runoff, risking stepping up the growth of Hydrilla verticillata, an invasive plant that has been established in this location for several years now.
However, in the South the sugarcane plantations do not seem to have reached “the limit,” as they continue to expand, with the felling of the last trees and riparian forests that protected the river courses. They have had negative impacts on endangered species such as the Yellow-necked Parrot, in serious danger of extinction. The sugarcane frontier has reached the mangrove shores and localities such as Iztapa and Hawai, two areas that still conserve this endangered ecosystem. The plantations reach their borders, causing isolation and pressure.
No assessment has yet been made in Guatemala of the accumulative negative impacts of these monoculture plantations that affect both the neighbouring communities and local ecosystems. In the meanwhile, the people continue to sweeten drinks and food, oblivious of the bitter impacts of this monoculture on nature and on people.
By Carlos Salvatierra. SAVIA –Escuela de Pensamiento Ecologista-Guatemala

Source: WRM’s bulletin Nº 143, June 2009

World Rainforest Movement

Maldonado 1858 – 11200 Montevideo – Uruguay
tel:  598 2 413 2989 / fax: 598 2 410 098


Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and Pesticides



POPs are a set of toxic chemicals that are persistent in the environment and able to last for several years before breaking down (UNEP/GPA 2006a). POPs circulate globally and chemicals released in one part of the world can be deposited at far distances from their original source through a repeated process of evaporation and deposition. This makes it very hard to trace the original source of the chemical ( POPs are lipophilic, which means that they accumulate in the fatty tissue of living animals and human beings ( In fatty tissue, the concentrations can become magnified by up to 70 000 times higher than the background levels ( As you move up the food chain, concentrations of POPs tend to increase so that animals at the top of the food chain such as fish, predatory birds, mammals, and humans tend to have the greatest concentrations of these chemicals, and therefore are also at the highest risk from acute and chronic toxic effects.

 One of the newer persistent substances in the Wider Caribbean region is tributyl tin.  Antifouling paints used on vessel hulls is the primary source of tributyl tin (UNEP 2002). In boatyards in Trinidad and Tobago and in the US Virgin Islands, tributyl tin levels recorded are considered to be unsafe for invertebrate organisms (UNEP 2002). Panama, Cuba and Guatemala have also reported the use of organic tin compounds in agriculture (UNEP 2002).

For Central America and Mexico it was reported that: Central America is the largest user of pesticides per capita in Latin America and, as a result of the current economic model, its use will increase further (CATHALAC 1999); in Honduras, pesticides and organic waste, mainly from coffee productions, are the most common sources of water pollution; in Nicaragua pesticide pollution mainly from cotton crops have been found in aquifers; DDT has been found to be used in sugar cane production within the region;  In Chetumal Bay mass fish mortalities have been recorded due to contamination by agrochemicals and pesticides transported there by Río Hondo.


The Use of biological specimens for the assessment of human … – Google Books Result Berlin, Arthur Harold Wolff, Y. Hasegawa – 1979 – Medical – 368 pages
SPECIFIC WORKING PAPER ON PESTICIDES BR Ordonez Secretariat of Public Summary Pesticides, both chlorinated and phosphated organic compounds have are those of human maternal milk done in Guatemala, a survey of approximately rice, wheat, sorghum, sugar cane, fruits, and, to a lesser extent, on corn.


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