Vegan Honey

Is Honey Vegan? The big debate rages on…

A vegan friend of mine in Australia asked me if honey is vegan. Here is what I wrote to her.You have to decide for yourself…

“Bees. Yes, we do take (they don’t give) surplus honey from the bees at the end of the year.However, most keepers like myself always try to work with the bees to ensure the bees have enough honey in their two bottom brood chambers to get them through the winter. Generally, bees produce a considerable amount of surplus honey that they would not consume through a normal winter.For example, an average hive can produce over a 100lbs (45kg) of surplus honey and still leaving another 100-120lbs (45-55Kgs) for then to overwinter on.

Even if we leave all the honey the bees do not have enough body mass in the winter to keep all that honey from crystallizing and thereby becoming unusable to them and us (we can get crystallized honey out of combs very easily). Side note: In the fall bees start to shrink their numbers to a minimum from 100,000 bees at the peak of summer to about 25,000 in winter (numbers are approx since I can count all the individual bees )

Also, I think of it like this…The bees are helping to sustain themselves since I sell their honey to buy more hives, equipment, and bees!

I also speak about bees and stinging since if a beekeeper goes in throwing stuff around and pissing off the bees then the bees sting and die. Not good. Slow calm is the way to work with bees. ” Nick F.

Health Benefits of Eating Raw Honey

Adopt a Honey Bee honey is raw and natural. I do not heat or process my honey in any way. It is as fresh from the hive as you can get. I extract the honey from the comb, pass it through a cheese cloth, and put in Mason jars. That is it, nothing more or less.

Many people claim and research has shown that eating raw honey has helped strengthen the immune system, treat allergies, aids in digestion, and even help heal burn wounds. Honey is full of natural enzymes and other biological compounds that have many positive effects on the body; inside and out. Honey also has anti-fungal properties and will never go bad. Honey as found in ancient tombs in Egypt that was thousands of years old was still edible.

My wife and I swear that since we have been eating our local raw honey that we have been sick less often than in past years. Try it for yourself!

The Buzz About Bees A Flush Fund of Fascinating Facts

By Maureen Dolan (original posting)

  • Bees do not create honey; they are actually improving upon a plant product, nectar. The honey we eat is nectar that bees have repeatedly regurgitated and dehydrated.
  • The average American consumes a little over one pound of honey a year.
  • In the course of her lifetime, a worker bee will produce 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey.
  • To make one pound of honey, workers in a hive fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers.
  • In a single collecting trip, a worker will visit between 50 and 100 flowers. She will return to the hive carrying over half her weight in pollen and nectar.
  • A productive hive can make and store up to two pounds of honey a day. Thirty-five pounds of honey provides enough energy for a small colony to survive the winter.
  • Theoretically, the energy in one ounce of honey would provide one bee with enough energy to fly around the world.
  • Although Utah enjoys the title “The Beehive State,” the top honey-producing states include California, Florida, and South Dakota. In 1998, the United States made over 89,000 metric tons of honey. China, the world’s top honey-producer, created more than 140,000 metric tons of honey in 1997.
  • While foraging for nectar and pollen, bees inadvertently transfer pollen from the male to the female components of flowers. Each year, bees pollinate 95 crops worth an estimated $10 billion in the U.S. alone. All told, insect pollinators contribute to one-third of the world’s diet.
  • Most researchers believe the honeybee originated in Africa. The first European colonists introduced Apis mellifera, the common honeybee, to the Americas. Native Americans referred to the bees as “White Man’s Fly.” Today honeybees can be found all over the world.

  • Bees are not fast fliers; while their wings beat over 11,000 cycles per minute, their flight speed averages only 15 miles per hour. In comparison, a true fly in the genus Forcipomyia beats its wings over 62,000 cycles per minute. The Australian dragonfly Austrophlebia costalis has been clocked flying at a speed of 36 mph.
  • Bees possess five eyes. The three ocelli are simple eyes that discern light intensity, while each of the two large compound eyes contains about 6,900 facets and is well suited for detecting movement. In fact, honeybees can perceive movements that are separated by 1/300th of a second. Humans can only sense movements separated by 1/50th of a second. Were a bee to enter a cinema, it would be able to differentiate each individual movie frame being projected.
  • While bees cannot recognize the color red, they do see ultraviolet colors.
  • Unlike the stingers in wasps, the honeybee’s stinger is barbed. Once the stinger pierces a mammal’s soft skin, the attached venom pouch pumps a mixture containing melittin, histamine, and other enzymes into the target. When the bee pulls away, the barb anchors the stinger in the victim’s body. The bee leaves the stinger and venom pouch behind and soon dies due to abdominal rupture. When a honeybee stings another insect, such as a honey-plundering moth, she does not leave her stinger planted in the invader. As she retreats from the insect victim, her barbed stinger tears through the insect’s exoskeleton.

  • During the mating flight several drones will deposit upwards of 90 million sperm in the queen’s oviducts. The queen, however, will not use all the sperm. She stores about seven million sperm in a special pouch, the spermatheca.
  • In one day a queen can lay her weight in eggs. She will lay one egg per minute, day and night, for a total of 1,500 eggs over a 24-hour period and 200,000 eggs in a year. Should she stop her frantic egg-laying pace, her workers will move a recently laid egg into a queen cell to produce her replacement.
  • While workers select which fertilized eggs to brood in queen or worker cells, the queen decides the sex of her young. In a mechanism of sex determination known as haplodiploidy, fertilized eggs will become female offspring, while unfertilized eggs will become males.
Maureen Dolan, NOVA Online’s intern, worked with a bee researcher from the University of Massachusetts Boston in the summer of 1998.