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Honey

Eating honey is not vegan.

Discuss.

I know this has been talked about many a time on VW, but I would like to be involved in the discussion. If you aren't interested in debating if/why/etc. eating honey is not/is vegan, then don't post!

I'm looking at you, fruit flies

hahaha

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I just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on this thread. I'm an avid supporter of the Bee. Without bees our veggie lifestyle would be totally changed and in many instances not possible. The variety of fruits we can enjoy is all made possible by our friend the bee, specifically the honey bee.

In China uncontrolled use of pesticides has eliminated bees in many regions. The farmers in these regions now have to pollinate their own crops. One hive can pollinate 3,000 trees in a day, one farmer can pollinate maybe 30 trees in a day. You can see how this is devastating to fruit production. In no way can the world's consumption of fruit be supported by human pollinated crops.

The honey industry ensures we still have bees in our world. Without the bee there would not be a honey industry, so the apiarists devote their time to ensuring their bee's are healthy and well cared for. If all people stopped eating honey, the honey industry would die. The use of pesticides will eventually wipe out the bee and we would be living in a very different world.

I understand that as a vegan many would not want to eat honey, but I feel before you make a decision you should do some research and understand that without bees there will be no tomatoes, peas, beans, strawberries, apples, peaches, blueberries....the list goes on. Your diet will consist of wheat, corn and other wind pollinated crops. Quite boring if you ask me.

Eating honey essentially supports the survival of the bee. Not to mention the many health benefits honey provides.

For some really good information I suggest reading "Fruitless Fall" by Rowan Jacobsen.  

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I'm still trying to figure out where I stand on honey.  =-(  It's so hard! 

Honey= from an animal=not vegan

But are they being harmed and exploited, or are we ensuring their survivial and ours by breeding them and using their products?

It's all so confusing!

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Yes.  Bees are being harmed.  Bees are being exploited.  We are not ensuring their survival.  Just because bees are small doesn't mean that they don't count.

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Eating honey essentially supports the survival of the bee. Not to mention the many health benefits honey provides.

Let me test this out:
Eating _______ essentially supports the survival of the _______. Not to mention the many health benefits _______ provides.

Eating dairy essentially supports the survival of the cow. Not to mention the many health benefits dairy provides.
Eating eggs essentially supports the survival of the chicken. Not to mention the many health benefits eggs provides.

Nope.  Doesn't work for me.

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HH - I would read the suggested reading. Without the honey industry there will not not be bees in our world. Populations of wild bees are already failing on every continent and extinct in many places. Don't believe me? Put in some research. Eventually we will need the bee farmers. Not to mention the honey industry is failing as well due to things like CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder).

Drinking milk doesn't save the cow, eating eggs doesn't save the chicken.  The bee is small, prone to disease and a bug. What do pesticides kill? Bugs. We're killing the bee. At least apiarists are supporting the bee. So yes, eating honey saves the bee as eating honey saves the apiarist.

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"Honey is created by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy. By contriving for bee swarms to nest in artificial hives, people have been able to semi-domesticate the insects, and harvest excess honey. In the hive there are three types of bee: a single female queen bee, a seasonally variable number of male drone bees to fertilize new queens, and some 20,000 to 40,000 female worker bees. The worker bees raise larvae and collect the nectar that will become honey in the hive. Leaving the hive, they collect sugar-rich flower nectar and return. In the process, they release Nasonov pheromones. These pheromones lead other bees to rich nectar sites by "smell". Honeybees also release Nasonov pheromones at the entrance to the hive, which enables returning bees to return to the proper hive.

In the hive the bees use their "honey stomachs" to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion until the product reaches a desired quality. It is then stored in honeycomb cells. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed. However, the nectar is still high in both water content and natural yeasts which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. The process continues as bees inside the hive fan their wings, creating a strong draft across the honeycomb which enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar. This reduction in water content raises the sugar concentration and prevents fermentation."

Got the above from wikepedia. Although not the best source, it's a good start to learn just what honey is.

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So you're saying that by controlling bees, we're saving them?
How exactly did bees survive without us humans?
they've been pollinating plants for longer than we have been controlling them.
Your logic makes no sense.

By being inhumane to the bees (aka, honey harvesting practices), we're killing them by the masses. Manipulating and killing them, not saving.

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I dont think that the bee population will die out, agriculture as we know it couldnt survive without bees to pollinate. And bee farming isnt the way to keep them around.

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Without the honey industry there would be bees in our world.  The majority of the species of bees exist outside of the honey/pollination industry.  One definite problem for bees, especially the native populations, is the spread of disease from international bee trade.

--->  Managing risks in World Trade in bees and bee products
--->  Why">http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/blogs/bees/australian-be... the U.S. Should Stop Importing Bees from Australia:  Chapter and Verse On Imports, Off-shore Pollination and Averting a Collapse of U.S. Bees

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i read up a little after I posted, and one good point that was made is that even if farmer's DID use bees for pollinating crops, they still wouldn't have to use them for their products and treat them the way that they do. 

And there really is no nutritional use for honey. So we're basically raising them cuz we like honey....and I don't think that's right. 

I'm sure if we released the bees into the wild they'd  "be fruitful and multiply" and do fine on their own.  They did fine before humans acquired a taste for honey, and there was never a problem with pollination before. 

I think I've made up my mind.

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kryttle i think u have some good points thanks for presenting a different view point... burt's bees uses honey in some of their products as well as yes to carrots... both cruelty free brands that don't use animal products (except for honey)...they say the bees r not mistreated... how do u guys feel about using those products?

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they say the bees r not mistreated...

 

And happy cows come from California.

What's your method of closing a hive without smashing bees?  I studied bees during college.  We had an Apis mellifera hive on campus and bees were routinely smashed when the box was closed.

Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox.  There's a credibility issue their about "mistreatment".  What is their definition of mistreatment?  Is it just face value or do they specifically define the term?  They purchase bee products from bee keepers who are all competing against one another for contracts and are finding every way they can to keep costs down.  What commitments do they have from the bee keepers?  Is there an independent and unannounced hive inspection program?  Again, what's their credibility other than a PR blurb?  Not that it influences the vegan-ness of it.

Some of the comments to date have been about pesticides and how bad they are for bees.  Bee keepers dope up the hives.  There's a disconnect in concern.

I don't understand why people will work so hard to justify something just because they want it.  Being vegan is about doing the least amount of harm.  Justifying honey doesn't come close to limiting harm.  It's just plain self-indulgence.

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hh... good point... who really governs that people don't mistreat bees... it's just a claim... kinda like "natural ingredients" or "free range"... i don't know much about the treatment of bees so i guess i'll spend some time looking into it... i don't eat honey because it's never been something i liked or used so i can easily omit it from my diet... by the way hh where in socal r u? im in mission viejo

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Yeah, I feel like saying pesticides/CCD threatens bees, so keeping colonies helps bees, is like saying "we totally polluted and messed up the ocean, so eating farmed fish saves the salmon!" I mean, maybe that saves them from the current situation, but why wouldn't they be able to survive in the wild? Maybe we should fix that.

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Yeah, I feel like saying pesticides/CCD threatens bees, so keeping colonies helps bees, is like saying "we totally polluted and messed up the ocean, so eating farmed fish saves the salmon!" I mean, maybe that saves them from the current situation, but why wouldn't they be able to survive in the wild? Maybe we should fix that.
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Yep. Just what I was thinking but couldn't express it in print. Thanks FB!!!!

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Quote:
i never liked honey so i guess i never had to "deal" with giving it up. made it easy

:o  :o  :o  :o The horror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :o  :o

How can anybody not like honey, sweet, golden, delicious nector of the Gods...er bees.

By the technical definition, honey is not vegan, with that I agree.  But I think local honey from local farmers is okay (and tastes much better).  That is ethically stolen from the bees with no harm to the bees.  Don't want to harm the bees, they are VERY important to farmers, if it wasn't for them we wouldn't  have crops and farmers know this, so they treat their bees very well.  
("ethically stolen" is as it sounds, an oxymoran.  We do steal from bees, they work so darn hard, but honey is so good, but l you feel really bad for the bees, until you bite into that piece of warm fresly baked bread smothered with butter and honey...ohhhh heaven.)

But large commercial honey is not good.  

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("ethically stolen" is as it sounds, an oxymoran.  We do steal from bees, they work so darn hard, but honey is so good, but l you feel really bad for the bees, until you bite into that piece of warm fresly baked bread smothered with butter and honey...ohhhh heaven.)

I feel like I should be offended by this.......but like....I'm not a bee.  So I just have a really confused feeling.  I'm not sure what to say about doing something that you know is wrong simply for aesthetic pleasure.  If you are having dissonance about it, I would encourage you to explore other sweeteners.  The notion that you care and feel bad for them, but you'd rather choose the fleeting pleasure of eating honey just because it tastes good, is kind of disturbing to me.

I would also encourage you to research honey production a little more thoroughly.  "Farmers need bees, so they must take care of them" is not a very well-informed notion.

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agave nectar is an amazing option.

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agave nectar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit jams/syrups..............lots of options!

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