‘Un-Bee-Lievable’ Councilman Tries to Top Bee Pun Master Chuck Schumer

A bee. (Photo: Wikimedia)

A bee. (Photo: Wikimedia)

We’d include a bee pun in the first sentence, but Councilman Steve Levin took them all.

In honor of the Jewish new year, when honey is eaten, Mr. Levin has introduced a new resolution calling on Albany to better regulate the state’s honey import. Even more notable than his announcement, however, is Mr. Levin’s all-out use of bee puns to make the case.

Mr. Levin even bests Senator Chuck Schumer, who released a statement filled with such puns–including “honey laundering”–earlier this year.

“I find it un-bee-lievable that antibiotics and other ingredients are making their way into the honey consumed by New Yorkers,” said Mr. Levin today. “By providing standards for honey in New York we can promote local food manufacturers and ensure the health of all New Yorkers. This is truly the sweetest legislation of the year.”

But Mr. Levin, clearly on a roll, wasn’t done there.

“Talk about the honey bill is already buzzing around the corridors of City Hall,” he quipped. “I am confident my Council colleagues will choose not to bumble around on this bill and will give it their overwhelming support because New Yorkers deserve nothing less than pure honey.”

View the full statement below:

Levin introduces sweetest legislation of the year, calls for honey standards in New York

Levin leading the way on Brooklyn food manufacturing

BROOKLYN – Council Member Stephen Levin has introduced a resolution that calls on the State legislature to define honey and provide standards for honey in the State. Currently, imported honey is shipped to the United States with labels calling it “pure honey” but in fact much of it is not pure, with items such as high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup and antibiotics added to it. The announcement comes during Rosh Hashana, when honey is eaten to celebrate a “sweet” new year.

Millions of pounds of honey that were banned and determined unsafe in other countries are being imported and sold in the United States, but it has been reported that the FDA tests only 5 percent of imported honey. In 2010, the FDA seized 64 drums of imported Chinese honey because it contained an antibiotic that could lead to serious illness or death.

“I find it un-bee-lievable that antibiotics and other ingredients are making their way into the honey consumed by New Yorkers,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “By providing standards for honey in New York we can promote local food manufacturers and ensure the health of all New Yorkers. This is truly the sweetest legislation of the year.”

Levin expects the bill to earn the support of his colleagues at the New York City Council.

“Talk about the honey bill is already buzzing around the corridors of City Hall. I am confident my Council colleagues will choose not to bumble around on this bill and will give it their overwhelming support because New Yorkers deserve nothing less than pure honey.”

Beekeeping and honey production is growing rapidly in New York. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene put the number of registered hives at 161 in 2012 — up from 4 in April 2010 — and the New York Times reported in 2012 that the actual number of hives may even be three times greater. Local food manufacturers and beekeepers would benefit from having honey standards in New York.

Chase Emmons, beekeeper at the Brooklyn Grange, said, “Since ancient times, humans have recognized the unparalleled health and culinary properties of honey. Only recently have humans begun using corn syrup and other additives to dilute and corrupt honey for profit, at the risk of consumers. We should have a system in place to ensure the purity of a basic staple such as honey.”

Levin’s resolution is part of a larger effort to promote local food manufacturing in Brooklyn. Levin conducted a study on Brooklyn food manufacturing earlier this year and will be releasing a report later this month that examines the possibility of creating a co-packing facility in Brooklyn that would help fuel industry growth and provide an answer to the lack of space and appropriate equipment that many food manufacturers are facing.

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