Capilano Honey

Capilano Honey calls for ban on pesticides to stop poisoning bees and honey

Capilano Honey published a statement on their website on the 9th of November 2016 calling for the Australian Government to ban pesticides which are poisoning their bees and honey. It’s not everyday a food manufacturer in effect admits that the food they are selling is being poisoned.

Capilano Honey were under pressure from an online campaign but the pressure had to a large degree subsided with their defamation action against another journalist. (Click here to read more) My original article on the matter covered the court case and went viral which ultimately led to Capilano Honey and their CEO Ben McKee instituting defamation proceedings against me as well. (Click here to read more).

But I stood my ground and breached the court orders because they were illegally issued and I haven’t heard anything back from Capilano or the court since. (Click here to read more)

Looking at the time lines Capilano’s statement seems to be a reaction to the recent articles that this website has published, but more on that in a minute. It is also worth noting that Capilano Honey called for the banning of pesticides in August 2016 in response to questions from a journalist writing for the specialist website The Australian Beekeeper. Yet in numerous interviews since then Capilano Honey CEO Ben McKee has said absolutely nothing regarding the call to ban pesticides even though many of those interviews concerned allegations, made by this website and others, that his company is selling poisonous and toxic honey.


I have set up a “Capilano Honey: Poisonous and toxic honey investigation” page with links to the articles that I have written on this matter which has all the background information as there is a huge public interest in driving this issue. (Click here for the Capilano Honey: Poisonous and toxic honey investigation)

The Capilano Honey statement regarding banning pesticides: 

Capilano Call for Reassessment of Neonicotinoid Use


While Capilano Honey has grown exponentially since 1953 the core values, established by founders J.C. (Tim) Smith MBE and his brother H.A. (Bert) Smith, of quality, innovation, safety and a true ‘hive to home’ experience continue to drive the company to this day.

It is because of these values that we feel dedicated to safeguarding the future of Australia’s bee population. Their welfare is of paramount importance to our daily operations and we are 100% committed to ensuring a sustainable future for honey supply and the 600 Aussie beekeeping families that we support across the country.

As a result, we continue to invest in a range of initiatives to promote bee health, effective biosecurity and to support beekeeper education. All of which will remain an ongoing priority for Capilano Honey.

In the late 1990’s, neonicotinoids came under increasing global scrutiny over their environmental impacts and have been linked to honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) in the USA.  Subsequently, the European Union (EU) and several non EU countries have restricted or banned their use.

Increasingly, global research has indicated that neonicotinoids may be harmful to the health of honey bees. Capilano is committed to the health and wellbeing of Australia’s honey bees and, as such, does not endorse the use of neonicotinoids.

Following a government industry symposium on the matter, we are now certain that the registrations of neonicotinoids in Australia should be reviewed, reduced or removed entirely.

With this in mind, on the 1st November, 2016 we provided the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) with a submission detailing some of the concerning scientific findings in relation to bees and their interactions with neonicotinoids in the environment. This submission forms part of the APVMA’s Roadmap for insect pollinator risk assessment in Australia.

While Australian farmers need to be able to manage their crops for maximised returns, the incorrect perception (and marketing) that neonicotinoids are completely harmless may be leading to their inappropriate overuse, particularly as a prophylactic treatment when pests aren’t even present.

We are now calling for extreme caution to be used when considering the use and regulation of neonicotinoids in Australia.

Capilano looks forward to further discussions with the APVMA on this issue on behalf of our beekeepers. In the interim, we will be working closely with The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) who has commissioned further research on neonicotinoids and we will assist them in any actions resulting from the research findings. (Click here to see on the Capilano Honey website) (Click here for a PDF copy of the statement)

While the statement does not expressly state that the honey is being poisoned it should. Does Capilano Honey expect people to believe the bees are being poisoned but the honey isn’t?

“Pesticides are the only toxic substances released intentionally into our environment to kill living things. This includes substances that kill weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), rodents (rodenticides), and others.” (Click here to read more)

Too little too late

In February 2014, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) published a report:

“The APVMA is aware of concerns that insecticides, especially those of the neonicotinoid class, may be contributing to a decline in honey bee populations in Europe and the United States. The APVMA has completed a report (Overview report – Neonicotinoids and the health of honey bees in Australia) on the issues relating to honey bee health in Australia, with a particular focus on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.”

The APVMA raised serious concerns backed up with evidence in relation to the poisoning of bees and honey in Australia and said:

The APVMA is unaware that any such pesticide residue monitoring of various plant and bee media has been conducted in Australia.”

I quoted from and put a link to the APVMA report in an article I published on the 30th of October 2016 which is 10 days before Capilano Honey published their statement. (Click here to read the article)

On the 4th of November 2016, I sent an email to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources asking various questions regarding the testing of honey and Capilano Honey. On the 7th of November, I sent follow-up questions. It is almost guaranteed that the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources contacted Capilano Honey before they responded to the questions I emailed them given some of the questions related to Capilano Honey.

The questions I emailed to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on the 4th and 7th of November 2016 were a matter of days before Capilano Honey published their statement on the 9th of November 2016 calling for the ban of neonicotinoid insecticides.

On the 13th of November I published an article titled “Capilano Honey and Choice cover-up of poisonous honey exposed by Federal Government” with the foundation of the article being the 2 emails that I had sent to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. (Click here to read the article)

So why did Capilano Honey wait from February 2014 until November 2016 to publish a statement calling for the banning of neonicotinoid insecticides? All the evidence says they were forced to.

Capilano Honey knew what was coming in the media and put out the release on their website to cover themselves and that’s it.

For Capilano Honey to be calling for more research is way too little way too late and also contradicts Capilano’s call for the pesticides to be banned. There is more than enough research to show that the neonicotinoid pesticides are poisoning and killing the bees and honey so why call for more testing? Once again Capilano Honey are ducking and weaving on the issue because they know if real action is taken then there will be a lot of media coverage about honey being poisoned which will hurt their profits.

Soft media release by Capilano Honey

To the best of my knowledge Capilano Honey never sent the above statement calling for the banning of pesticides to any media nor did they send it to the Australian Stock Exchange to notify investors. They have only put it on their website and Facebook page which is totally inadequate and deceptive if not corrupt.

Capilano Honey have done the bare minimum in calling for action against pesticides and have only done that when they were forced to. The reason for Capilano’s conduct is obvious and that is it will impact on sales here and overseas and the health and safety concerns are not a major issue for them.

Social Media flexes its muscle

Capilano Honey have been getting a hammering on social media the last few months for their dodgy practices. They import poisonous and toxic honey from China, Mexico, Argentina (where they have a factory), Hungary and Brazil and sneakily sell it to Australians under their numerous brands which includes Allowrie, Smiths, Barnes and Wescobee. On top of that Capilano fail to test their own honey in Australia properly which was confirmed in an email to me by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources who said:

“The department’s National Residue Survey does not undertake glyphosate testing of Australian honey. The NRS is not aware of any herbicide testing of honey undertaken by Capilano.” 

In questions that I have put to Capilano Honey they have not refuted their negligent failure to test for herbicides. In fact Capilano Honey refuse to answer any questions I have put to them regarding the health and safety of their honey.

Capilano Honey have dug a huge hole for themselves with their unethical and corrupt conduct and frivolous and vexatious defamation proceedings. Someone at the company is going to have to take a fall which is likely to be the Chairman or CEO or both.

There is a lot more than the above happening in the background and I’ll continue to investigate Capilano Honey and keep the spotlight on them.

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11 replies »

  1. Thanks for info on Capilano honey as I have discontinued buying any of their products and have advised my family to do so as well.

    Keep up good work.

  2. I have also stopped buying their products ages ago when you first alerted us Shane. Also told lots of friends and associates re Capilano. Of course it features prominently on the supermarket shelves and at it’s normally at a cheaper price it is obviously selling very well in No.1 position! Don’t the supermarkets and their buyers read social media or is it profit and sales driven as usual and bugger the customer…which is nearly always the case in this greedy society we live in.

  3. Why does Capilano need to use imported material for their honey? There are other companies which claim to use PURE AUSTRALIAN honey. We used to buy Capilano until we read your story, now I buy Beechworth, in the hope that it is an Australian product.

  4. I stopped buying Capilano ages ago, and can’t stand the brand. I buy from a local independent beekeeper who loves and looks after his bees.

  5. Capilano has been dodgy for decades. It used to be
    “Smiths Capilano”. Decades ago honey was far more expensive than liquid glucose made from starch. I was in the glucose business and got wind of this ” enormous 200 litre drum user in Brisbane.
    I turned up in announced and all around the perimeter fence were empty drums of ” Fielders Glucose” The receptionist was surprised to see me and said Mr Smith will be out shortly. He sure was fuming and with clear liquid glucose all over him from turning off the pump and forgetting the product in the line. I couldn’t contain my myrrh. Be barked for me to leave!! He was mixing cheap glucose with all kinds of dark honeys and not disclosing it.
    Back in the day he was making tens of thousands in un- declared – monthly. Always dodgy.

  6. Ian would be right…the World is full of crims and shysters all trying to make an illegal quid and bugger the rest of us. Pity because 50% get away with it so crime must pay!
    You wonder how they can sleep at night!

    Anyway every dog has his day and most of those curs end up below in hell walking around lonely for eternity….and that’s karma for you.
    Usually anything K. Stokes and his mob has got their fingers in is somewhat dodgy.
    Suppose that’s how you become a billionaire?
    I’m spending my hard-earned on NZ Manuka honey now…it’s 3 to 4 times the price but hopefully not poisoning me and my family.


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