Where Have All The Honey Bees Gone?

Are you a honey fan? Honey is one of the natural sweeteners everyone thinks to use. But honey has been hit by bad business and bees have also been hit by something sinister.

Recently, a client started beekeeping and owns King Street Bees. In talking to my client, I learned that honey, locally grown, is where I need to spend my money…. Honey! (Couldn’t resist)


Some facts have come to light about honey, and all who buy supermarket honey be warned, it’s not the honey your mom used to buy.

In 2011, Food Safety News tested US grocery store honey and found that it wasn’t exactly honey. Honey has become highly filtered, thus removing the pollen that makes it possible to determine where the honey came from. By removing the microscopic pollen, the honey failed the quality test needed to meet the standard for food safety division of the World Health Organization.

Under the guidelines of the WHO food safety division, if there is no pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from a legitimate and safe source. The FDA has said “Ultra filtered honey, that contains no pollen, is no longer honey.”

To add to the concern, some highly filtered honey goes through a procedure where the honey is heated, then forced through small filters to remove the pollen. This is a spin off of a technique refined by honey manufacturers in China, and who have dumped tons of their honey into the US market containing some illegal antibiotics. To read the complete article, click here.

Buying from a local beekeeper is a great option, plus supports your local economy. However, our beekeepers are struggling with another problem, one that feels far more sinister.

A new movie called More than Honey examines a curious and serious worry for beekeepers. It is the disappearance of honeybees. As a kid, I remember have a bee sting almost every summer.  Now I almost never see a bee to even think about that problem.

Over the last 15 years, the US estimates that a total of 1.5million, out of 2.4million hives have disappeared. Numerous bee colonies have been decimated around the world with no evidence of the cause. Depending on the region, as much as 90% of all local bees have disappeared, and this epidemic continues to spread from beehive to beehive. No bodies can be found and no predators involved.

Aside from the fact that we may jump for joy at not having to worry about bee stings, there is a serious environmental impact. Roughly, 80% of plant species require bees to be pollinated. Without bees, there is loss of pollinization and the potential loss of fruits and vegetables could become catastrophic.

Scientists have given the phenomena a name "colony collapse disorder." They believe that it is a combination of factors causing the demise of bees. Pesticides, parasites, EMF that disturb the magnetite nanoparticles found in a bees belly, and travelling stress, which all of these have reduced immune function for bees. (Reduced immune response? Sound familiar?)

Albert Einstein crystalized the relationship of bees and humans in this comment: "If bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would have 4 years left to live." Let's hope beekeepers, who tend to hives, can find a way to stop the colony collapse disorder and bring bees back to healthy productive levels.

To try an amazing honey taste try, the one and only, Tupelo Honey.

To understand more about bees and their colonies: Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing

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