Food · October 16, 2021


And stop supporting the trade in bees and honey.

Photo by Boba Jaglicic

At the moment when an individual decides not to consume animals or products that are derived from animals, some questions from the ones who still consume them are brought up frequently, and one of them is: “why don’t you consume honey?”.

For those who consider themselves vegans, the fact that bees have a brain, a nervous system and behave with emotions, ethically is enough to make them behave against their exploitation.

Sundry anesthetic practices are established within the commercial honey industry, one of which is instrumental insemination, which requires the death of several males for semen extraction and the queen bee, in addition to undergoing insemination, has its wings clipped so that it is contained inside the hive. These bees prepared for creating hives can be easily purchased over the internet and delivered by mail, without enough air, no water and even less flowers.

There are other arguments that allow us to go further and allow for a broader understanding of the matter, so let’s understand what honey is: honey is a bee food, produced by bees, its production takes place in the process in which bees swallow nectar and regurgitate, repeating the same process several times and thus producing that viscous liquid we call honey.

It is commonplace for beekeepers to cruelly kill entire hives during the winter, as maintaining a hive during that season would have a higher cost. In case the bees are not slaughtered, what will happen to them to be fed and since the honey they produced has been commercialized, is the ingestion of a sugar-based solution which has no resemblance to the essential characteristics of honey and that would be required for bees to stay healthy. The practice of extermination can also occur when a hive is not behaving properly.

Photo by Hive Boxx

It is common to find people who are afraid or dislike bees, however, as bees are the indicators of good health for an ecosystem, bees are sensitive insects and, therefore, necessary with climate change, so if you find a garden, tree, forest, with a beehive or full of wild bees, which has become increasingly rare, feel grateful, they are doing their job and that will benefit the planet and therefore you.

Photo By Kunal Kalra

In the post ‘Do you know where your food comes from?’ I expressed my thoughts about being interested in how our food is produced.

Today I go even further – wild bees are responsible for 80% of the world’s crops. Pollination is one of the main functions of bees in this organism, Planet Earth.

That’s right—without bees there would be no biodiversity on the planet, there would probably be no wild fruits, various vegetables, fruits and legumes. With this information it is easy to understand that not only humans would be harmed by this scarcity but all animals and even other insects would.

In addition to interfering with the natural production of honey, we humans are interfering in the life of wild bees in other ways, in addition to aggregation by industries, extraction of natural resources, garbage production, intensive agriculture has separation, imbalance in ecosystems, the production of genetically modified crops, or the use of pesticides directly affect bees and also the interference of human beings in pollination, mixing different species from different parts of the world, cause even more climate change and consequently different from wild bees.

Perhaps you are wondering why I am specifically talking about wild bees. The reason is that while the population of wild bees has been suffering a great decline, with unethical practices to accelerate production and consumption of their product, an industry provided that 45% of the population of at least another 270 species of bees have increased, which has been causing ecological imbalance as these bees become competitors of wild bees in search of nectar and pollen, in addition to some species of disease, due to genetic changes in them.

A variety of polarizers is necessary and crucial for natural ecosystems, as each will pollinate different plants. But these other species of bees, although efficient in collecting pollen, are inefficient in its transfer to flowers and even more than that, a higher concentration of free pollen in the air can causing allergies such as hay fever in humans and besides contributing to the spread of other diseases.

n addition, when a very large number of a species of bee dominates an ecosystem, wild bees feel obliged to leave, if this ecosystem is of wild plants, the problem is even greater, as they hinder the reproduction of these plants and consequently the survival of wild bees.

If we really want to protect bees and consequently the planet, we should not support the honey trade, disregard its consumption and focus on the cultivation of wild flowers, in the lands that we currently deforest for unbridled agricultural production.

This video produced by Ed Winters can help to help you better understand how bee rearing, bee production and ecological imbalance have happened: