Okay, listen up. There’s a very popular post going around that says eating local honey actually supports bees because bee keepers give bees a place to live, which will help solve the bee population crisis (scoff). This post (here) is utter shit, and here is why:
1. Your precious local bee keepers still kill the queens of hives if the hive is deemed unnecessary or if the bee keeper is afraid the hive will leave. Killing the queen causes chaos in the hive and they cannot leave while they are desperately trying to make a new queen. Only queens can breed, meaning that, while there is no queen, there is a massive drop in hive population (Oh, but buying local honey ~*helps*~ the bee population). Killing the queen is cruel not only to the queen but also to the worker bees who fall under the stress of making a new queen from the larvae that is (in the best case scenario) still there from the dead queen.
2. Apparently someone put into this person’s head that a bee keeper won’t take “too much” honey from an artificial bee hive. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Even your precious local bee keepers will take almost all of the hive’s honey. “But then the keeper’s medium of production will starve,” you may be responding, snarkily. “Why would a bee keeper let the bees starve?” Well, when keepers take away the honey, they replace it with a sugary substitute, such as corn syrup. This prevents the bees from starving but corn syrup is bad for bees (as they aren’t supposed to ingest it), and it’s definitely not the substance they broke their backs to produce.
3. Even your precious local bee keepers will travel with their bees in order to get different flavors of honey. This confuses and stresses out the bees, leading to death and/or never making it back to the relocated hive. Traveling with bees also causes disease to spread between hives (Oh, but buying local honey ~*helps*~ the bee population).
4. Even your precious local bee keepers smoke their bees to prevent chaos and/or stings. People seem to think that smoking bees is humane because it “calms” them. Bees are not calm when they are being smoked. When you smoke bees, they move slower, and this is because they are extremely stressed and are gorging on honey in preparation to relocate the hive.
5. “If bees don’t like where they live, they’ll just fly away,” you may say, but you are dead wrong. Bees that are kept in artificial hives do try to leave often. But, as mentioned before, your precious local bee keepers will kill the queen so the worker bees must stay to feed a new queen. Sometimes your precious local bee keepers leave the queen alive but clip her wings so she can’t fly, and I’m sure you’re aware that a hive cannot leave its queen. If hives do escape and relocate, even your precious local bee keepers will find them, capture them, and put them right back in the artificial “hive.”
6. Giving bees a place to live and produce honey safely is different from interfering with honey production and stealing everything bees live for. Making an artificial hive, letting bees arrive and leave by their own accord, and protecting the hive from predators while they are there, is completely different from putting bees in an artificial home, forcing them to stay there, and stealing their whole life. After all that hard work, one bee still only makes about one teaspoon of honey its whole life, and producing that honey is the extent of that bee’s life.
So, listen. If you buy honey (even locally), you don’t care about bees or their quickly approaching extinction (even though that extinction would devastate the whole planet). BUYING HONEY DOES NOT HELP BEES. That whole post was just a massive excuse to make everyone feel better about not laying a food down just because it tastes good.
Honey-defending vegans: Please just stop. You aren’t being good vegans. Bees are supremely intelligent beings and know what is happening to them. The extinction of bees (which honey production actually helps along) will lead to the extinction of other mammals, including humans.
The jig is up. Have some self control and self respect and set down the bee puke, if you even care about the planet at all.