Monday, October 8, 2012

FRENCH BEES PRODUCING BLUE HONEY

How strange is this story?  Do you know what this is below?  Paint?
No, it's a jar of regular honey and a jar of "blue" honey.

jar of blue honey, PHOTO COURTESY OF: VINCENT KESSLER/REUTERS
BLUE honey?  What the heck?  Apparently bees in an area of France have been producing blue honey (as well as green and purple and shades in between).  When beekeepers would check their hives, they saw this below.  At first, apiarists weren't sure what was happening to cause this strange phenomenon. Something in the environment?  A new virus infecting bees?  A problem with the hives?  Some sort of poison?
Blue honey in the honeycomb
Turns out it was an odd discovery:  They now believe that the bees were stopping off at a nearby plant that handled the waste from the manufacturing process of M&M's!  They were collecting the sweetly colored residue from barrels and heading back to their hives to turn it into honey and store it away.  The end result?
Green, purple and blue honey
Multicolored honey!  As soon as they figured out what was causing it, they put steps into place to prevent it such as sealing the barrels, keeping them inside instead of outside, etc.  They say it doesn't taste differently and the consistency is exactly the same but still, they are destroying all of it, as they say it is not sellable and they don't want people to be worried about honey which could hurt  sales in another unexpected way.

Sadly, it's yet another blow to the honey industry in France which is already reeling from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) as well as a shortage of honey supplies and an unusually cold Winter last season.  They are also worried about what effect the artificial flavors/colors/chemicals the bees encountered will ultimately have on the entire hive and its future generations of bees.

Personally, I'm just wondering how long before some scientist tries to figure out a way to "genetically modify" bees to do this on purpose?

To read more about this fascinating and kinda scary story, CLICK HERE.

24 comments:

Sandy said...

Very interesting, I never knew.
Hopefully, scientists won't modify the bee.

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

I watched this on the news. I was thinking the same thing about them modifying the bee. Sadly I hope not. I am allergic to bees but they are vital to pollination. It is an impact not just for honey but orchards and farming in general.

Kris said...

It's so sad to see all that pretty honey destroyed because of a stupid mistake us humans have made. It really is pretty, that multi=colored hive. Love that. But not what it might do to those poor unsuspecting bees.

Kev Alviti said...

I heard this on the news - it's mad! No way they could sell it now!

cheryl said...

Amazing and frightening too.Let's hope this doesn't happen again. We should be more aware of how human activities affect all life on the planet.

Kelly said...

Pretty, but eeeeewwww.

Katel said...

The hive was beautifully transformed into a M&M blue, but sadly not naturally and I hope they don't modified the bee to produce colored honor. The blue actually looked like paint............not my kind of honey. thanks for sharing the story.

Leigh said...

Now that, is amazing. If they were my bees, I think I'd be a bit freaked out. I agree it probably won't be long before science starts genetically modifying. I think they're already developed GM bees. That's strange too.

1st Man said...

Isn't it strange? I didn't know either until I saw the article and then I had to do some googling to get some info. It's crazy. I'm glad they did find out the cause, strange as it was, but still...

1st Man said...

Yes, bees are SO important to our lives, most people don't realize it. I thought when I saw the honey that someone somewhere would go "oh that's neat, lets genetically modify bees to do this all the time". Sigh.

Sorry about your allergy, I guess beekeeping isn't on your list huh?

1st Man said...

Good point. Yes, it is pretty in a way, but the potential ramifications for the bees based on our dumb mistakes, negates the beauty. And yes, what a waste of some awesome honey.

1st Man said...

Mad is a great way to describe it. Poor bees. And I bet those bee keepers were a bit shocked and nervous. Thanks for stopping by as always!!

1st Man said...

Couldn't have said it better. We are all connected and impact each other, all the way up and down the chain!

1st Man said...

Ha, it is kind of ewww. THey said it tasted the same, I'm wondering who was brave enough to even try it? Maybe once they found it was from M&M's, they figured it wouldn't be so bad, ha.

1st Man said...

Yes, the blue hive did have a simple beauty to it, but dang, at what cost right? Definitely not natural, ha.

Frugal Living UK said...

I thought as soon as I read this that someone somewhere will start thinking of coloured honey as a money making opportunity!

Annnightflyer said...

You know I feel so bad for the beekeepers,they're the ones who has to clean the hives and get all that color out or start new boxes.I imagine the hives are totalyl ruined.

vivinfrance said...

I don't know about coloured honey. All I know is that we have seen very very few bees this year - a few on my lavender hedge and runner beans, but nowhere near the usual number. By contrast, the flood of cabbage white butterfly caterpillars reduced all my brassicas to lace. I cut them back and now that the temperature has dropped, they are at last producing.

sometimes-we-all-need-to-have-a-good-think said...

Good morning. I raise bees out here in Illinois, among other things, and thank goodness I don't have an M and M factory near by. The bees will go for any thing sweet especially if their natural flower fields are depleted .. We all need to plant more wild flowers. This was an excellent article and a very scary one.. the thought of coloured honey 'catching on' is terrifying! and so horribly possible .. lovely to meet you.. celi

1st Man said...

Yeah, I'd so open the hive and go "OH MY GOSH WHAT DID I DO WRONG?". They don't teach you that in beekeeping class for sure, ha . GM stuff scares me in general.

1st Man said...

Yep, someone is going to try to do this on purpose, ugh. That's how things go bad, ha.

1st Man said...

I never thought about that. They would be ruined huh? Yikes! Poor beekeepers. M&M's maker should pay for new hives and stuff.

1st Man said...

Hi and thanks for stopping by!! Isn't that sad that bees are in such a state of decline? It's that way here as well, I don't see nearly as many as I used to. In fact I get excited when I see a couple. They are a resilient and highly intelligent species, hopefully they'll bounce back.

Thanks again for commenting and come visit any time!

1st Man said...

Hi! Thanks for popping in, we love to see new faces. I have plans next year for a hive, took a couple of classes last year and I loved it. It was so much fun! I can't wait. Thankfully no M&M plants around us either, luckily. Let's hope it doesn't catch on for sure!

I'm off to visit you now! :-)