What is honey?
For bees, honey is the only source of food and essential nutrients during the bad weather and winter months. During the flowering period, worker bees leave their hives and fly to collect nectar. They need to fly around up to 1500 flowering plants to fill their “honey” stomach – a second stomach designed for nectar. They can only return home with a full stomach. The nectar is “unloaded” in the hive. A bee arriving from the field passes the collected nectar to the worker bee in the hive. Next, the nectar is passed from one bee to another, chewed and spit out several times. This forms a thick syrup that contains a lot of carbohydrates and little moisture. The worker bee pours the syrup into the cell of the honeycomb and then blows it with its wings. This makes the syrup thicker. This is how honey is made. The hive works as a team and provides each bee with enough honey. At the same time, one bee in its entire life can produce only 1/12 teaspoon of honey – much less than we think. Honey is fundamental to the well being of the hive. Unethical practice The common belief that harvesting honey helps the hive flourish is wrong. When collecting honey, beekeepers instead put sugar substitute in the hive, which is very unhealthy for the bees because it does not contain all the essential nutrients, vitamins and fats found in honey. And the bees begin to work hard to make up for the missing amount of honey. While collecting honey, many bees, protecting their home, sting beekeepers, and die from this. Worker bees are bred specifically to increase the productivity of the hive. These bees are already endangered and are highly susceptible to disease. Often, diseases occur when bees are “imported” into a hive that is foreign to them. Bee diseases spread to plants, which are ultimately food for animals and humans. So the opinion that the production of honey has a beneficial effect on the environment is, unfortunately, far from reality. In addition, beekeepers often cut the wings of the queen bees so that they do not leave the hive and settle somewhere else. In honey production, as in many other commercial industries, profit comes first, and few people care about the well-being of bees. Vegan alternative to honey Unlike bees, humans can live without honey. Fortunately, there are many sweet-tasting plant foods: stevia, date syrup, maple syrup, molasses, agave nectar… You can add them to drinks, cereals, and desserts, or eat them by the spoon a day when you’re craving something sweet.
Source: vegansociety.com Translation: Lakshmi