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I just removed a newly added comment about allergies. See this diff. While it is true that honeybees to not actively forage at plants that are wind-pollinated (mostly), they do pick up a quantity of the wind-blown pollen during their travels and that pollen does end up in the honey. Dr Jerry Bromenshenk has described the hairs on a honeybee as one of the most effective particle collection mechanisms in nature and has exploited that capability to use honeybees as living sampling devices for all sort of environmental traces.

It is probably also true that the quantity of wind-borne pollen that ends up in the honey is too low to be medically relevant to the immunotherapy hypothesis (which was the point of the WebMD article) but as written, that statement also incorrectly implied that a person who is allergic to wind-borne pollens would be completely unexposed via the honey. That statement is clearly incorrect.

I will also note that there are some significant exceptions. Corn (maize) is a wind-pollinated plant and bees will avoid it until there is a dearth of other pollen sources. At that point, honeybees will forage among corn even though it is a sub-optimal food source. To paraphrase the old song, even bad protein is better than no protein. So in that scenario, yes a person allergic to maize can be exposed to medically relevant levels of pollen in their honey. Rossami (talk) 22:15, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Allergies and sources[edit]

Solistide recently brought up a question about a WebMD article [[1]] on my talk page [2].

"In examining that page, it turns out that the article is essentially a summary of an interview with a single, little known allergist in Pittsburgh and what he had to say. It doesn't seem to be presented as actual medical advice by WebMD, only as a recap of an interview. Additionally, the statement on the website: "No. The theory that taking in small amounts of pollen by eating local honey to build up immunity is FALSE." was made without being peer-reviewed (no other allergists examined the statements), they are actually contradicted by one known study, and the reasoning contains contradictions and falsehoods in itself, which a well-known expert on pollen and horticulture points out in this article
Is the webmd article valid as a reference simply by virtue of it being hosted on For instance, is a "letter to the editor" on also a valid reference?
Summary: This doesn't look like a very reliable article from WebMD, and I put in changes with several references pointing this out -- so readers can decide for themselves -- which were reverted by someone because they didn't follow a particular rule. At the same time, when I removed the line above because it didn't follow that same particular rule (the article was not actually peer-reviewed by another allergist, only by a general practitioner, and was written by a freelance journalist after interviewing a single allergist), it was reverted as well. For some reason, the rules aren't being applied consistently." Solistide (talk) 01:15, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

So, the main question here appears to be if we are dealing with an appropriate WP:MEDRS source for: "Some allergy sufferers wrongly believe that raw, local honey can help build tolerance to the pollen in the air." I'd say we've reached the minimum threshold for a MEDRS source as it's coming from WebMD since the site is pretty reputable for medical content, and the specific article does have editorial oversight. Personally I'd like to see a review article stating the current consensus, but for now are there any issues keeping the content as is? WebMD is a gray zone sometimes, but it would seem like we're dealing with something relatively non-controversial since we don't have any sources that could claim that honey can build up allergy tolerance either. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:43, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree with that analysis, WebMD is not the greatest but there doesn't seem to be anything better. I'd also be comfortable if we just didn't mention this topic at all. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:01, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Possible reference?[edit] talks about some honey preventing bacteria from splitting. Bananasoldier (talk) 04:38, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Naturally occurring toxins or unacceptable sugars for human or honey bee?[edit]

Huang, Zachary. "Honey Bee Nutrition". 

If there were more clearly and comprehensively research naturally occurring toxins or unacceptable sugars for human or honey bee? which may play a role in the CCD especially when the population is too high to the carrying capacities which force the honey bee to collect the substance from the unpleasant plants for honey bee? (If the sugar from plants are not the form which honey could accept, the honey derived from them may contain extra artificially supplied sugar?) -

Sorry, I mean no offense, but I'm not really understanding what you are asking. Are these questions or statements? Either way, they're incomplete. Can you please clarify what it is that you think should be changed in the article? The reference you give is rather interesting. It does mention something about toxic plants and sugars, but just a little bit. These toxins are well-known to exist, although bee physiology is very different from human physiology (so what is toxic to one may not be to the other). The website talks more about poor nutrition for bees that produce monofloral honeys, and recommends a broader variety in their diets for better nutrition. Zaereth (talk) 19:50, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Sugar in honey[edit]

I added, The UK National Health Service website warns that honey contains sugar and too much sugar in a diet can be harmful.[1]

  1. ^ How much sugar is good for me?

This was taken out. I know Wikipedia shouldn't advocate a particular viewpoint but the effects of sugar in honey are relevant. Without my addition the article says many good things about honey and has little or nothing about drawbacks. Neutrality requires at least a short statement that honey has drawbacks as well as advantages. Proxima Centauri (talk) 02:24, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

It is manipulation of information, contrary to WP:NOTADVOCATE, to state that consuming honey leads to harm because it contains sugar which, if consumed in excess, may be harmful. That statement is analogous to saying that because a car contains gasoline, the car is harmful if driven. There is no logical WP:NPOV connection between honey and harm or car and harm.
For reference, this is a Wikipedia section relating sugar with harm to health.[3]
The NHS reference you've chosen does not address honey specifically which is only mentioned as one source of sugar. The NHS page is intended to advise about over-consumption of sugar, not honey. The NHS reference also does not meet WP:ANALYSIS (not a good secondary source), as it does not provide evidence in a scholarly assessment of honey specifically. Under WP:BRD, the edit you have provided should be reversed again until consensus is reached on this Talk page, WP:CONSENSUS.
As you are have repeatedly reverted edits over 24 h per WP:3RR, I am placing a notice on your Talk page.--Zefr (talk) 04:34, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
My first thought was that this is about health effects not nutrition, so it belongs in its appropriate section. In its current location, it is an issue of weight. Next is that the source is highly inadequate for an article about honey. In fact it is inadequate for the sugar article, as it gives very little in the way of factual information and is written in persuasive style. I am fairly certain better sources can be found. Finally, the addition itself is mostly redundant (no offense intended.) Most of the article describes honey and its sugar content, so it is not big news that the NHS has discovered this. This needs better sources which are neutral, technically informative, and provides the reader with new information. Zaereth (talk) 04:52, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Looking over the content, I'm not so sure it's really warranted right now. We don't go placing a "sugar warning" in every article about a food item with high amounts of sugar. The way this topic could be relevant and maybe what the source is alluding to, is that people might have the mistaken belief that because honey is "natural", it's better for you regular sugar if you use it instead. That's a classic natural fallacy which falls into WP:FRINGE territory, so if this content was going to be included, I'd look for a source essentially saying that some people mistakenly think it's worlds better than sugar from a health perspective, but it's really still sugar. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:11, 20 April 2015 (UTC)