I’ve already written about the scary hidden additives and unethical practices that lead to most honey sold in the U.S. being contaminated, and the new question I want to ask you about this seemingly benign sweetener is:
Would you buy honey from a beekeeper who purposely starves their bees to make more money?
A huge number of beekeepers who supply the market with honey are doing just that.
By doing so, these unethical bee farmers (who have become the industry norm) are jeopardizing our entire ecosystem, which is really bad news for our survival as a species!
- The average American eats about one pound of honey a year.
- To make one pound of honey, worker bees have to fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers.
These statistics don’t count the myriad of other ways we green beauties use honey, be it as a mask, face wash, or natural remedy.
So it’s our collective responsibility to make sure these “busy bees” have nourishment to fuel themselves — so they can keep working on our behalf too — and we need to demand that the honey industry honors those needs.
Below you’ll learn why bees are deliberately being starved and 3 things you can do to affect change.
You’ll be shocked to find out who is fueling this cruelty
Drumroll please…it’s The National Honey Board!
While we can’t attribute all of the blame to the NHB, we sure can give them an award for idiocy and adding to a serious problem within the honey industry and consumer mis-education.
The NHB considers September “The National Honey Month”, an annual celebration of U.S. beekeeping that raises awareness to consumers promoting honey as a natural sweetener, a healthy food source and a remedy for health ailments.
Actually all of those benefits about honey are true if you’re buying quality, properly harvested honey — but that’s not what’s lining most of our supermarket shelves.[Read: Surprising ways the right honey can help with acne, aging and saving our eco system]
September = Starvation For Bees
The Rodale Institute executive director, ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood says, “If you are a beekeeper and you are going to take honey, you should finish by the end of July so that the bees have enough honey to survive the winter. Continuing to harvest honey until September does not give them enough time to build necessary stores for the winter.”
The remaining honey in the hive after July should be the bees’ winter food supply, without it they starve and are left to eat only the very lowest food source provided to them, sugar water laced with high fructose corn syrup.
Conventional (i.e. unethical) beekeepers harvest honey from July until September. That’s two months more than is needed.
When greedy beekeepers take the excess honey that rightfully belongs to the bees, bees struggle to survive for the winter and must patiently wait until spring to make more honey or die.
It’s ironic and sad that the National Honey Board itself is fueling cruel practices by its oblivious timing. At the end of the day, this is what is being celebrated during the National Honey Month in September.
#BeeAware Campaign to Change National Honey Month to July
They aspire to bring light to the unethical agricultural practices that includes the use of pesticides and other chemicals that are killing bees in large numbers, an epidemic known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
So with the help of this campaign and by pushing The National Honey Board to switch to July, we’ll be celebrating our pollinating friends and the work hard work they commit to each year.
Bees Make Honey So No One Goes Hungry
The bottom line is bees make honey because it’s their only food source.
Being that they have an incredibly important function in our food supply system as pollinators, they play an integral role in our ability to have plenty of food to eat also.
Without the help of bees pollinating over 80% of our crops, the environment would suffer and we’d have no food to live off of.
3 Ways You Can Help Right Now
- Commit to finding a quality source of honey and ask lots of questions about treatment practices before you buy.
- Share this article with your friends and family to create more awareness. Conscious customers create change.
- Use your social media power to demand change from The National Honey Board.
Finally, if you feel like throwing a couple of bucks at The Rodale Institute, I’m sure they’d appreciate your donation! It’s a non-profit agency dedicated to protecting our health and our planet, and your contribution is tax deductible. Win-win!
Were you surprised to learn any of this? Let me know in the comments section below how you plan to help create change!
Research Assistant, Kelly Perez.