Capilano Honey

Capilano to restart importing honey. Will it be fake honey again this time?

Capilano Honey and their shareholders, who were caught red-handed selling fake imported honey from China to Australian consumers via there Allowrie honey brand in 2018, have announced they will soon be selling imported honey to Australian consumers again. Capilano Honey, who also use their new company name Hive and Wellness Australia when it suits them, is refusing to answer media questions regarding the newly imported honey as per the email I sent them below.

This is also a kick in the face of Australian beekeepers who have been struggling, or in some cases lost everything, because of the drought and bushfires. The imported honey raises potential issues of disease that could damage the Australian industry as well as the ongoing global problem of fake honey which Capilano have been up to their neck in ripping off customers and endangering their health.

It was reported a few days ago the issues faced by the bee/honey industry globally are also an issue in the USA. The website Vice reports: 

Bee populations across the country are declining for many reasons, like exposure to insecticide and fungicide, disease, and mites, ultimately causing colonies to collapse. From April 2018 to April 2019, beekeepers in the United States lost over 40 percent of their hives.

But there’s another threat within the honey community that’s intimately entwined with the lives of bees and their beekeepers, one that is largely unknown outside their world: honey fraud.

Grab any random bottle of honey from your kitchen, coffee shop, or restaurant: According to a number of honey experts who spoke with VICE, the odds are high that your honey isn’t what it claims to be. Honey imported from overseas is often adulterated—either by having sugars added to it or by being cleaned, heated, or filtered—and then is blended with small amounts of true honey until the sticky substance is uniform.

And perhaps more important than the possible defrauding of the consumer is the fact that according to experts, adulteration is driving global honey prices down, leaving beekeepers, like Hiatt, barely able to sell their honey for a profit.

They said that many honey importers and packers know that the honey they’re buying is adulterated, because the prices are much too low. (Click here to read more)

The announcement that Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) was starting importing again wasn’t made to the public but to their suppliers which was leaked to me. So I sent the below email, which has a copy of the leaked announcement, to their CEO Ryan d’Almeida and Ben McKee who is now COO asking a few questions.

Sent: 05 March 2020 21:10
To: Ben McKee <>; zz_honey <>;;;;
Cc: Richard Keegan <>; Alexander Latu <>; Martin O’Connor <>; Justine Munsie <>; Kieran Smark <>;;
Subject: Capilano’s new imported honey – Is it poisonous, polluted, toxic and/or fake again!

Dear Ryan d’Almeida and Ben McKee

As per the below statement to suppliers advising them that you will start importing honey again, I have a few questions:

  1. Who are the Australian retailers that requested that you supply “a more affordable blended Australian and imported honey”?
  2. Given you couldn’t prove in court that your Allowrie branded honey, which you stopped selling last year, wasn’t poisonous, polluted, toxic or fake how will you be able to guarantee to the public the new honey isn’t poisonous, polluted, toxic or fake?

Why was Ben McKee sacked as CEO and demoted to COO?

Please respond to my questions by 5pm Friday the 6th of March 2020.


Shane Dowling

As per usual Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) are refusing to answer media questions in relation to the quality of their honey which is very disturbing given they were caught selling fake honey in 2018.

I wrote an article about Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) settling their defamation lawsuit with Simon Mulvany a few weeks ago and I pointed out they hadn’t announced it on their Capilano Honey website. What they did was announce it on their Hive and Wellness Australia website obviously to minimise media attention.

The statement they have published is very misleading. They say:

Hive + Wellness COO Ben McKee said: “While court proceedings are always a last resort, we believed we had no other option given the importance of protecting our reputation. Hive + Wellness is pleased to have reached a suitable settlement with Mr Mulvany and that he has gone on record to admit to his followers that there was no basis for his damaging remarks and has instead confirmed the truth about Hive + Wellness’ quality products. We will now put this matter behind us as we concentrate our efforts on supporting Australian beekeepers, who are battling drought and the impact of extensive loss of resource due to devastating bushfires.”

Simon Mulvany is no scientist so if he “has gone on record to admit to his followers that there was no basis for his damaging remarks and has instead confirmed the truth about Hive + Wellness’ quality products.” it means nothing. Seven West Media published stories in 2008 and 2011 on Channel Seven outing Capilano for selling poisonous and polluted honey and Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) has never disputed that. They were also caught selling fake honey in 2018 and have never supplied testing to dispute it. 

Also Capilano Honey and Ben McKee are still suing me so how can they say “We will now put this matter behind us” and they went to court to make sure the evidence they filed they claim shows their honey is safe for consumers to eat is not made public. (Click here to read more

As soon as Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) settled the defamation and injurious falsehood matter with Simon Mulvany they started importing honey again so it’s even more important for me to stand my ground and fight their frivolous and vexatious, almost identical, legal case against me which is still afoot.

Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) are undermining Australian Beekeepers and forcing the price down by their own admission in their above statement, which is full of spin, to their suppliers who are the beekeepers they are ripping off. 

The beekeepers who are trying to recover or build their businesses again from scratch need as much support as they can get and that means the higher honey prices that the market is paying at the moment. The imported honey will undermine Australian Beekeepers no matter how much spin Hive and Wellness Australia (Capilano Honey) put on it. The company is controlled by Kerry Stokes, Kevin Rudd’s son-in-law Albert Tse and a few others and they should face criminal charges for food fraud.

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12 replies »

  1. First, the Chinese destroy so much of our land for development and greediness, that we struggle to keep bee populations stable!

    Then we buy imported and, not knowingly, poisonous honey, with Chinese involvement all over it, then we get adulterated honey (so again, not 100% pure Australian), a lot of sueing and efforts to cover up!!

    And now they want to import again, because Australian beekeepers have lost many bees (because of the bushfires, caused by hefty drought, due to overdevelopment by the greedy Chinese and the fossil fuel industry pollution) and now they want us to believe them when they say it won’t be from China and it won’t be poisonous!!!

    They will still import adulterated honey, no matter where it comes from, and it can still bring in diseases that we are so desperately trying to fight. And it will still undermine the Australian beekeepers hard work in trying to establish new populations again!!!!

    They use the excuse as that otherwise no one (consumers who are value conscious) will buy honey anymore because it will be to expensive.
    It depends on what your definition is of value conscious. My definition is that value consciousness means that you want real and true Australian value for your Australian dollars. Therefore Australian products if they are spending more money on it. Australians don’t want fake or imported if it still costs a lot. They are prepared to pay more if it backs the Australian Made industry!!!!!

    People who are on a low budget won’t buy honey anyway, whether it’s $5,00 or $9,00. It’s still to much for their budget. They will buy jam or peanut butter, because that’s cheaper.

    So, this whole Hive + Wellness and Capilano story is a load of crap!!!!!!
    The only way for consumers to deal with this, is buy local. Visit the beekeepers themselves, and buy their honey on the spot. Visit farmers markets, or even stalls along the side of the road. As long as there are no puppets in between the harvesting of honey and putting it in a jar, beekeepers and consumers get true value. And this will help the beekeepers more, long term, in stabilising bee populations!!!!!!!

    If the horrific bushfire season, massive flooding and now the coronavirus is teaching us anything, it’s that we need to manufacture more Australian Made, and become less dependent on the rest of the world. It’s actually something all countries should do. Dependence for food and products gets us nowhere!!!!!!!!

  2. This and other allowances of low-grade imports, then allowing selling of Australian businesses to Asian and overseas buyers will never stop unless individuals with the power put a final stop to it take action.
    That is not happening, are we supposed to get used to it because the situations continue, so who has the answer.

  3. If a consumer bought fake honey at the supermarket, had it tested and proved to be fake, how large could the damages be against the retailer and manufacturer?

  4. I have just heard of this for the first time. I buy capilano solely because i thought it was Australian and i buy a lot of it for personal and business use. I can tell you right now i will never purchase capilano ever again. I hope they go broke.

  5. Extensive reading of labels is my way of buying Aussie made, so many local producers to choose from in the honey sections of Drake Supermarkets

  6. Wherever possible, buy direct from the averist, afer tasting that, guarantee you won’t buy it from supermarket again, there is no comparison.

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