happy bee

Tutin testing through our club

If you sell, donate or barter honey, the law requires you to test for tutin if removing honey from your hives between 1st January and 31st July. As a beekeeper you are liable for prosecution if someone is poisoned by your honey, so even if you’re a hobbyist beekeeper producing honey for personal consumption, you should test for tutin too.  

Our club can help you. Here’s how.

First: Pick up free test pot/s (screw top)

  • At our club meeting
  • From our extraction room when you’re extracting your honey
  • Order from or Kylee Howe - kyleehowe@hotmail.com or phone Kylee 021 312 202. Note: sample test pot is free, but postage is charged. 

Second: Collect batch sample/s

  • When extracting, mix the batch well by stirring it thoroughly for about 2 minutes, moving entire volume in a rolling circular motion from the bottom to the top (tutin often sinks so sample might not be representative of batch if not stirred properly). After the batch has been well mixed dip right into it (e.g. with a spoon, don’t scoop from the top).  About 50g of sample is sufficient (i.e. half fill test pot). Samples should not contain wax.
    • Note: a batch is e.g. a bucket or drum. A sample must be taken from each batch regardless if they’re from one apiary/hive or from several i.e. if you have harvested 2 buckets of honey you must provide 2 differently labelled samples.
  • Label test pot/s with your name, date and registration number. If you extracted your honey in our club’s extraction room also fill in our club form with your name, date, registration number and email address (as there is limited space on the label please write your email address on our form so we can email you your test result).
    • Note: if you have more than one test pot sample, write a unique identifier on each label so you can trace sample back to the batch it was taken from.
  • Submit test pot/s by 
    • leaving in the ‘tutin test’ container in extraction room (this container is different from the ‘honey sample’ container also in extraction room which is for your honey samples (which we are required to keep for up to 5 years)
    • bringing to our club meeting
    • Note: If you have harvested from more than one hive/apiary and you are happy to combine your harvest into one batch, you can provide one sample taken after combining batches.

Third: Obtain results

  • Kylee will be sending samples in lots of 5 (yours + other beekeepers) to Analytica Laboratories in Hamilton for composite testing (the most cost-effective way of tutin testing).
    • Note: We do not mix the 5 samples - it must be done at the lab.
  • Kylee will email you the cost for your part of the composite test and payment details.
  • Kylee will forward to you the composite test result after receiving email from the lab and payment from you. 
    • Note: If the composite test fails, your honey (being part of the failed composite test) has to be retested individually at your cost, as the lab cannot identify which sample of a composite test caused the failure.