Apparently some vegans are telling people not to eat honey to support bees. STOP. STOP NOW. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW BEES WORK? Buy honey (local if possible) -> support beekeepers -> support bees. I swear people don’t even think this stuff out. Beekeepers provide bees with an environment in which they can live, and are encouraged to thrive. Bees then have a big huge giant person who can deal with any threats to the hive. Yes, honey is a winter food supply for bees, but beekeepers (unless they’re dicks, in which case they’d be shooting themselves in the foot) will NEVER take too much honey from a hive, and will always ensure that bees have enough food. Think about it, you’re not going to starve a source of income/hobby, are you? So now. Support beekeepers. Support bees. buzz.
OP, do YOU even know how bees work?
Do you really think commercial beekeepers leave ANY honey for their bees? They don’t. It is all scraped out and sold, because newsflash, their businesses exist to turn a profit. Bees are fed sugar water to sustain them through the winter, which keeps them alive, but certainly not healthy. This makes it much easier for bacteria, fungi, etc. to infect them because their immune systems are not being supported with the nutrition they need.
You are contributing to the further endangerment of bees, as a species, when you buy honey/beeswax/etc. You’re also exploiting their labor, because bees don’t choose to live in bee boxes, beekeepers clip off the wings of their queen so they can’t leave. And because older queens are more likely to initiate a swarm, beekeepers usually kill their queens and replace them every 3-5 years.
Most beekeepers - including the small, local beekeepers you allege we should support - use a smoker whenever they open up the hive. A bee’s strongest sense is olfactory, so when there’s smoke everywhere, they become disoriented, as they can’t sense what’s around them. Smoke also causes the bees to gorge themselves on honey, which makes them lethargic and less likely to attack because they’re bloated and tired.
Even small-scale local beekeepers who claim to only take the hive’s surplus are problematic. How can we judge what is an adequate reserve of food for an entire colony throughout a season? What if it’s an exceptionally rough winter, and they actually need more honey than you anticipated? As more pesticides are introduced to the environment, biodiversity decreases dramatically, making it much harder for bees to find enough plants with pollen they can convert into food for themselves. Would you take food from any other species that’s in danger of dying off entirely? Because that’s what you’re doing when you buy honey - depriving bees of food they made to sustain and nourish themselves.
Many commercial beekeepers will burn their hives in the winter, because it’s cheaper to remove all the honey and wax and start a new colony in the spring than to sustain the existing colony through the (unproductive) winter. Supporting commercial honey literally equates to supporting killing entire bee colonies.
Want to help bees? Stop buying products made with their labor and plant things like sage, lavender, thyme, cilantro, poppies, etc. And stop shitting on vegans who are doing all we can to ACTUALLY help bees in order to justify your own selfish ideology.
Do some research before you make another shitty post full of misinformation that gets upwards of 113,000 notes.
You are clueless. As an apiarist and head of my local beekeeping club I can tell you that no one takes all of the honey their bees produce. Something called a honey super is attached to the hive, where the bees store their surplus honey. This is not touched for months, until harvest time in the winter. When the bees settle in for the winter, they should have stored enough honey to last them, which no decent beekeeper touches. The sugar water is kept in place as a back up, should they run out of honey. My bees often prefer to use this as is regularly refilled, rather than having to draw on their honey resources.