Beekeepers Buzzing over ATAGO’s New MASTER-HONEY Refractometer

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For years, beekeepers have used ATAGO’s HHR-2N refractometer to test the moisture levels of honey. The new MASTER-HONEY tweaks the classic design, offering the same reliability with a host of convenient new features.

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The MASTER-HONEY draws on over 70 years of engineering expertise and input from industry professionals to create the best analog honey refractometer yet.

There are many honey refractometers for beekeepers to choose from – traditional and digital models are available across a broad spectrum of prices. You would think there is no room for another entry into the field. However, ATAGO, a world premier refractometer manufacturer, believes there is always room for improvement.

Their latest model, the MASTER-HONEY, draws on over 70 years of engineering expertise and input from industry professionals to create the best analog honey refractometer yet. Beekeepers, such as Whitney Long at Prince William Beekeepers, are already praising the new unit. “[ATAGO] has done a good job considering the users' needs in the design.”

For those who are unfamiliar with these instruments, refractometers are used across myriad industries to measure the concentration of dissolved solids in a liquid. The honey industry, by contrast, uses refractometers to measure the amount of moisture in honey. Too much moisture will cause the honey to ferment, whereas honey with too little may crystallize.

For years, industry experts have chosen ATAGO’s durable and reliable HHR-2N refractometer for its quality materials, precision manufacturing, and high-contrast optics. The HHR-2N is one of the most popular units on the market also because of its simple temperature compensation. On the bottom of each of these units is a thermometer with graduations specific to compensation, rather than a straight temperature scale. Users add or subtract the compensation figure from the initial reading.

The MASTER-HONEY has all the benefits of the HHR-2N in a smaller, sleeker, more convenient package, and includes some improvements. The MASTER now compensates for temperature fluctuations automatically via an internal mechanism which raises and lowers the scale in as the sample acclimates, saving a step. The MASTER-HONEY is also IP65 water resistant, meaning a beekeeper need only rinse it under the faucet to clean. The spoon-shaped sample stage is Ms. Long’s “personal favorite” feature. “It catches the honey drips if I happen to over-fill [the sample stage] or can't clean it immediately.”

For those seeking the best of the best, ATAGO’s lineup also includes the digital PAL-22S. Unlike analog refractometers, the PAL-22S delivers readings on a digital display, eliminating any user interpretation. At about the size of a deck of cards, the PAL-22S can fit inside your pocket for easy portability. Further, the PAL only requires water for calibration, where analog models require special standard liquids.

To find out more about ATAGO’s family of honey refractometers, please contact us at 1-877-ATAGOUS (282-4687) or online at

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Sean Sullivan
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