Written by PETA
The swirling black cloud that Island Park, Idaho, residents saw earlier this week wasn't a storm, but a swarm—of bees. A semitruck hauling bees and honey swerved off the road, tipping 400 hive boxes and sending 14 million bees and a river of honey onto the roadway. Crews brought in to clean up the highway sprayed the bees with firefighter's foam, killing many of them.
Trucking hives across the country stems from the increasing difficulty of finding healthy honeybees. Beekeepers spread disease by moving infected combs and equipment from hive to hive and failing to treat illnesses. When diseases are detected, the treatment is normally to destroy the colony, which can mean burning or gassing the bees to death.
Since division of the hive upon the birth of a new queen can mean a decrease in honey production, beekeepers prevent it by clipping the wings of a new queen or killing and replacing a queen after a couple of years.
The best way to be a honey for bees is to choose vegan lip balms and candles and to use agave nectar, molasses, and maple syrup instead of honey. Find more tips on giving bee (and other animal) products the boot, see PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book Making Kind Choices.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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?
Need to figure out the quickest route to a destination? Skip the GPS and ask a bee. Turns out bees are really good at math, especially when it comes to solving the "traveling salesman problem," which involves computing the shortest distance between two locations. These are calculations that can take a computer days to complete. So if you're worried that your math skills aren't sufficient to make you an "A" student, maybe you'll succeed as a bee student!
Impressed with these apian academics' calculating nature? A great way to show it is by letting our little black-and-yellow buddies keep their honey—here's why.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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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.