Initially, I began this article on the side that honey should be allowed to be eaten in the vegan community, however, I did eye-opening research. Bees pollinate and keep the pollen and nectar in their crop, a kind of second tummy that creates honey. After their crop is full, they’ll return the honey to the hive where it’s stored in a cell for warmth, food and nutrients in the winter months when there’s nothing to pollinate. The entire cycle of creating honey is wholly beneficial to bees and messing with their precious process is catastrophic.
Commercial bee-keeping is shockingly similar to factory farming in many ways, but most importantly the antibiotics and artificial insemination. Antibiotics are pumped into hives during the winter months to keep the bees healthy, and might ultimately do the opposite for the health of the bees and the honey made. Artificial insemination is also prevalent, as the queen bee needs to reproduce faster and give birth to stronger bees to make the honey business profitable and yield more product. Among the inevitable death of bees due to transportation, the retrieval of honey and botched antibiotics, many other complications can occur.
So what about the organic bee farmers? And all the holistic benefits of organic honey? Well, organic bee farmers are still stealing the figurative fruit of life from honey bees, which specifically produce such honey for their own well-being and nutrition. And as the wound healing and sore throat soothing benefits go, it’s not worth it to have an entire population of bees almost go extinct (yeah, that happened in 2017) and threaten the harvest of all of our organic crops. Pollination is the backbone of the prosperity and maturity of fruits and veggies. Basically, we’re screwed without healthy bees–and a lot of them.
It all comes down to this: what the foundation of your eating habits rely on. If you choose not to eat animal products for the sake of the animal, honey probably isn’t for you–however, if you avoid animal products for personal health reasons, the holistic benefits of honey might be helpful to you.