Beeswax, found in some lipsticks and other cosmetics, is obtained by melting a honeycomb with boiling water and then straining and cooling it.
It is not unusual for farmers at larger bee farms to cut off the queen bee’s wings so that she cannot leave the colony or to have her artificially inseminated on a bee-sized version of the factory-farm “rape rack.” When the beekeeper wants to move a queen to a new colony, she is carried with “bodyguard” bees, all of whom—if they survive transport—will be killed by the bees in the new colony. Large commercial bee farms may also replace the honey—which bees produce and need to get through the winter—with a cheap sugar substitute that lacks the nutrition of honey.
Many bees are killed or have their wings and legs torn off because of haphazard handling.
Click here to view our “Honey: From Factory-Farmed Bees” factsheet.