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Dr. Peter Awram
Dr. Awram earned his PhD in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and is a second-generation beekeeper. His beekeeping company, which both pollinates and produces honey, is the largest in British Columbia. Recently, he became interested in introducing new technologies into beekeeping. He has been working on projects that use hive sensor technologies to allow monitoring of hives without interfering with normal hive activities. Using automation in the honey extraction process also reduces labour costs and improves efficiency. Dr. Awram's current project addresses the significant problem of honey adulteration. His lab is dedicated to the analysis of honey using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), which analyzes the entire sample and is a significant step forward in detecting fraud in food. His honey NMR setup is currently one of two outside of Europe. Using this technology, he is building a “fingerprint” database of honey from around the world. This will allow for identification of floral and geographic origins, and determination of honey alteration stemming from addition of foreign sugars or resins filtered to hide improper handling of bees and honey.