Written by PETA
Although consumers don’t necessarily see “Made in China” on honey labels, a new exposé published in the UK’s Globe and Mail tells of the almost spy-thriller-like process in which honey produced in China travels through southeast Asia and onto millions of tables—and into millions of stomachs—around the world.
In China, where the overwhelming majority of the honey ingested globally originates, beekeepers attempt to keep bees alive by feeding them antibiotics that are banned in North America because the drugs can seep into and contaminate the honey. The honey is often intentionally mislabeled as originating elsewhere, and is also diluted with sugar and corn syrup.
In a companion article, the National Academy of Sciences reports that the U.S. bee population has seen a dramatic decline in recent years due to inbreeding and habitat loss, and that changes must be made to end the bees’ spiral toward extinction. Agave nectar, anyone?
PETA, I have to agree with jade - basic knowledge of honey is that it comes from pollen, not nectar. It's why they're well and popular for cross-pollination.
And like Jade, I've seen some neat places bees have found homes. I have also sadly seen the results of hive destruction - mostly by critters such as skunks. Since finding deterrents (not harmful ones mind you), that has been reduced.
But I have to disagree with one point too - they don't replace the honey in the hives. The bees know to go gather more pollen and make more - or some beekeepers go out of their way to collect pollen to feed their bees.
Artificial - fake - honey must be labeled, but after a score of illnesses in our area, we got them to pass a law saying that they must be tested to be sure it's real honey.
BTW, Did you know that honey lasts for centuries? - it doesn't spoil. In fact, a gross but true story I read was that there were two archaeologists who found an Egyptian tomb. Prying off one of the tops, they found it full of honey and started eating it. After a few bites, one had hair in it, and found that inside was a fetus that had been preserved in the honey.
PETA, I am someone who is part of a beekeeper's society and have seen a beekeeping process from start to finish. I know *exactly* what I'm talking about.
As you have been polite in posting my responses, I ask that you do it again, and allow people to hear the other side from someone in the industry - who BTW abhors fake honey because it does harm us with fake calories and no nutritional value. I find what China is doing wrong.
That said, here is again the other side of the debate.
Again, bees collect POLLEN, which they turn into bee vomit and put into the cells, seal it up and tell their fellow bees where to find flowers by dances.
Yes, honey is bee vomit, not nectar. Not a pleasant way to describe it, but I'll call it what it is.
I know and understand that there are those such as China who try to pass off fake honey as the real McCoy. There is artificial honey in the United States, but most of the reputable groups list it as such. Others have been challenged and have such been tested.
When honey is taken out from the honeycomb, the bees go back out and gather more pollen to make honey for the comb again. People DO NOT replace honey with a "sugar based substitute" in the hives - it'd kill the bees as you say. That said, bees for the most part are smart enough to know that it's fake and will move to another hive.
When you also move the bees, you move them locally, not nationally and ONLY if their hives are destroyed or if the location isn't safe for the bees or the people on the property, such as the case I mentioned with the tree.
It would be stupid to move them across the nation - not only would it make it impossible for the bees to find proper flowers to make honey, it can create issues if they are moved to areas with Africanized (killer) bees.
Bees have few pests, and several we can control ourselves through simple treatments.
Finally, you cannot factory farm bees. Bees cannot be confined to a single location - they FLY of all things. You can't corral bees - they'll move elsewhere if they feel threatened or the source is not good.
And seriously, no one in their right mind would ever keep bees in an enclosed location due to health and safety issues.
I encourage you and your readers to go to a beekeeper's association meeting and learn more about bees - they're fascinating creatures. Ask questions about how bees work (I would ask to keep protests out - we're willing to listen you without any problems) and use that information to spread on how we can help bees - as well as ourselves - by stopping those who do create fake honey to put in bottles.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.