The Bad Buzz of Honey

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

Honey beeMost people are unaware that billions of bees are tortured, imprisoned, and factory farmed during the collection of honey for human consumption. We often don’t realize the true horrors behind the honey industry, in part because honey is marketed as “natural” and “healthy”—but honey is only natural and healthy when bees are eating it. Honey is food for bees.

When people think of animal rights, they often overlook insects, yet insects are animals, too, and they are sadly exploited just as other animals are. Bees are bred, confined, abused, and exploited for humans. Even small beekeepers and independent farms subject bees to cruelty, such as cutting off the wings of the queen bee. One of the reasons for this cruel act is to keep control over a colony. Swarming is the natural way for bees to split their colonies. After an old queen has laid her eggs, she will move on, with a large portion of the workers following her. This act is clearly not efficient for production from a human standpoint, so a cruel mutilation is inflicted to keep her from flying away.

In the artificial colonies where bees live and work, their food is taken from them and replaced with sugar water. So much cruelty is common practice in beekeeping, such as smoking the bees to keep them docile while their honey is taken, artificial insemination, the killing of queens for productivity, and much more. Bees are forced to live in the cramped, artificial confinements of human-made hives, where every aspect of their lives is controlled. These complex creatures are known for their elaborate social structures and fascinatingly intricate communications. We are just beginning to understand these astonishing animals.

There are plenty of kind alternatives to honey, such as agave nectar, maple syrup, and unrefined sugar. Tell honey to buzz off.

Posted by Edwina Baier