Last week I found myself on a website which explained why vegans should not eat honey. Being a vegetarian myself, who would prefer to actually be a breatharian instead; my sympathies are totally with the Vegan Way and respect their contribution to our planet’s well being. This week we made a new friend named Liddy and she is a Vegan. After she explained to us why she eats honey under certain circumstances, we thought it might be helpful to other Vegans and to natural beekeepers too, to explain why the wildflower honey which comes from loved honey bees, which are taken care of by natural beekeepers who use biodynamic principles, such as Bello Uccello’s honey bee sanctuary, would probably be quite an important nutritional food source for Vegans.
The raw natural honey is a pure Love Food and it truly is the nectar of the gods. It is as formative in its nature to the adult human body as milk is formative in its nature to the child’s body. The true raw wildflower honey holds lots of nutritional substances . If you have a chance to read the book “Honey -nature’s healer” you will be amazed at the health benefits of honey. The royal jelly is the same as meat to a Vegan because Queen bees by the thousands actually die in order for people to get the royal jelly – this is plain unethical and unacceptable. . On the other hand, honey bees love to make honey and they make far too much for their own need. It is a Joy for them to make honey and you can feel this at the sanctuary – a happy hive has a wonderful, joyful hum, as they all cooperate as a
community in bringing up their young and making honey. The beehive can actually get “honey bound” in their hives, yes even those in a tree, and then they have to leave their home. Last winter we left the usual 100 pounds of honey and pollen in each hive and the honeybees ate it all by late Spring because the weather this year was weird. Every other
year we are actually removing over half of the honey from the hive in the Spring so that the brood nest is not honey bound before the new honey flow even begins. ( Goodness – look at the Bee Movie to see what happens if bees couldn’t make honey! :-} ) After learning what we know of what is done to honey bees commercially, and what the honey available in stores actually contains, we would never eat honey either. But we cannot let
such an unethical and unloving paradigm take away our Expectations and our Trust that there are people of goodwill in this world working to bring things back into a Space where respect and caring and community are the values upon which they produce the food they
do and even honey. So if you are a Vegan here is the list of how the honey bees need to be treated in order to make the honey ethical and acceptable for your diet:
CHECK LIST FOR ETHICAL HONEY FOR VEGANS
1. We do not feed our honey bees “sugar water” or glucose-fructose syrup or GMO corn syrup.
2. Our bees eat only the pollen which they collect from nature, and we do not feed our bees “pollen substitutes” which can be made of
GMO soya or other substitutes of any kind
3. We do not move our honey bees from their garden.
4. We do not provide “pollination services”, which is totally a “slavery model” and commodification of a living species.
5. Our honey bees do not feed on mono-crops for commodification of their honey as “orange honey, apple honey, lavender honey, etc.”
They feed on wildflowers and trees and our non-GMO, organic veggie patch.
6. Wildflower honey has the richest variety of nutrients for the bees and for humans when the eat the honey. ( Soya may be healthy but if that is
the only thing in your diet you will not be well.)
7. The honeybees in our sanctuary do not have imported Queens, nor do we do Queen raising. Their Queens come from the hive making their
new- daughter -Queens from the mother Queen.
8. We do not use a Queen excluder which cages the Queen into a small chamber, rather than allowing her to move freely throughout the hive, as in nature.
9. We leave 100 pounds of honey and pollen in each hive for the winter months and we also freeze several pollen laden frames in the freezer for to feed to
the bees in the Spring before there is much to find in nature itself.
10 We do not use plastic inside of the hive nor plastic foundation frames coated with a bit of wax so the bees just fill up the plastic cells with honey.
It takes 7 times more nectar to create the wax than it does to create the same amount of honey – our hives are made up of wax cells only made by the honey bees
11 We do not use any chemicals or gases in our hives to treat mites and diseases.
12 We do not use antibiotics
13 The honey is raw and unfiltered.
14. The honey has No Heat whatsoever applied to it. Unpasteurized honey does not mean they did not heat the honey up for processing.
15. Our prime concern is for the health and natural life of the honey bee and the honey is only what is extra and would not be used by the bees.
16 Stress-free-hives is what we wish to provide and all activities are as stress free as possible.
17 The beekeeper is the Father of the Hive and a member of the hive and feels and thinks in this way in all that he does as a keeper of bees.
18 The immune system of the honey bees is nurtured by herbal natural “teas” which we love to taste ourselves!
19 Clean fresh water supply for the honey bees is provided.
If you see a Demeter certification on a jar of biodynamic honey you are pretty safe in assuming you can enjoy this honey with a good conscience.
So with a good Raw Foods cookbook and a jar of raw ethical honey, life can’t get better than this! Enjoy your food and your summer.