Do vegans eat honey? The answer is no. Wonder why? Because vegans do not eat animal meat, do not make use of their milk and eggs, and do not exploit other creatures as well, including honey bees. Bees do not make honey for us, they do it for their hives. It is morally wrong and incompatible with a vegan lifestyle since they are not willing to produce honey for us.
Those who consume herbal products with the same content, while avoiding all animal-produced food groups, are called vegan. Vegan people are against animal products and all kinds of work and products done with animal labor. Veganism is an upper stage of vegetarianism. In other words, vegetarians do not eat meat, but they eat products such as eggs, honey, butter, cheese, or some of them. Many people say that eggs, cheese, dairy are the products of the animal, but what may be the relevance of honey.
Honey is the product of bees made with labor power and stored for use in difficult days such as winter. This approach is cruel to vegans, as bees need to work harder when these products are taken by humans. For this reason, vegans take vitamins and foods from the closest counterparts of animal products, using sweeteners made from herbs and legumes such as molasses, apple syrup, agave syrup, and rice syrup instead of honey.
Commercial hives to allow people to take honey from bees are unnatural. Beekeepers manipulate the queen to stay in the hive. Worker bees do not leave it either. Then people steal this beautiful product from bees and use them commercially. There are several reasons why vegans don’t eat honey:
- Bees do not make honey for humans, they do it for themselves. Bees are not willing to produce honey, especially for humans. This is the exploitation of another creature and is against veganism.
- Extracting honey from a hive is very stressful for bees. Commercial honey collection methods destroy hives and kill many bees.
- Bees are given a sugar substitute to replace honey.
- Usually, they are removed immediately after harvest to reduce the cost of hives and increase profits.
- The queen bees’ wings are sometimes clipped to prevent them from leaving their hives.
- Queen bees are artificially fertilized with mostly crushed drones and then sold to beekeepers.
A worker produces only one teaspoon of honey during his life. Honey is a food source for bees. Without it, they would starve. When people take honey from the bees that produce it, they replace it with a low nutrient sugar solution that does not contain the essential nutrients for the hives to survive in optimum health. The images of the stomachs of bees fed with sugar juice are shrunken and smaller than the healthy-looking stomachs of bees eating honey. Bees need to visit 2 million flowers to produce only 1 kg of honey.
Extraction of Honey: A Mechanism Against Veganism
Bees do everything to protect their hives and the honey they produce, they sting invaders even if they kill them. To extract honey, bees need to be suppressed, and beekeepers do it with smoke. Smoke makes bees think that their hives are burning and instinctively encourages them to eat as much honey as possible to prepare to leave the hive. If the bee is full of honey, they become lethargic, and they are much less likely to suffer.
Smoke also affects a bee’s sense of smell, which prevents them from being warned that they are occupied. If the smoke temperature is too high, it may melt the bees’ wings. According to the normal bee behavior, the bee does not return for 10-20 minutes. In large industrial-type facilities, bees on the honeycombs are crushed using a machine and scraped from large honeycombs.
The Abuse of Queen Bees
Did you know that you can order queen bees on the Internet? With just a few clicks, you can buy a matched queen bee and on-duty workers; these are delivered to you by mail. Buying and selling creatures in this way is against vegan principles. In most cases, matched queen bees are artificially seeded with drones. Drones are often crushed to extract sperm for insemination. Wherever the worker bees go, they will follow their queens and there is no guarantee that a queen bee will stay in the hive allocated by human hunters. Most queen bees have their wings clipped to make sure they stay. The queen bee staying with such cut wings cannot fly and escape.
Everyone knows how important it is for us not to let the bee population die. Bees pollinate 100 different types of products and these products feed 90% of the world. It is not difficult to figure out what would happen if the bees were gone. You may think that taking honey actually helps the planet. Certainly, more beehives mean more bees, and buying honey is a good way to make sure we have more beehives, right? False. Bees are regularly collected. The bees that make the honey you bought at the supermarket will probably be gathered in the fall. Bees work hard to make enough honey for them in the winter, but people take it from them. For most beekeepers, it is cheaper to extract the hive and start over in spring than to feed the bees in winter.
Sometimes they don’t collect the whole hive, but they kill their queens. Worker bees will go to another hive to serve somewhere else. We kill other bees through mass breeding. Not all bees make honey and make it in varying qualities and quantities. Honey intake from beekeepers increases supply and demand. When there is more demand for honey, beekeepers grow more honey bees. Nearly every species of bees (there are 20,000 in total) has fallen in numbers, while the honey bee population has increased 45% over the past 50 years. This is not good news.
Honey bees are native to Asia, Europe, and Africa, but people carried them around the world as part of the domestication of bees about 9,000 years ago. Domestic bees were either adapted or forced to become extinct. Honey bees generally do not live in harmony with wild bees. The species are forced to compete for space and food, and commercially bred bees sometimes spread diseases that are fatal to other bee species. Bees are exploited and buying their honey will allow the beekeepers to make more exploits. Beekeeping is not natural. If you want to help bees, you should look at ways to increase their numbers in nature rather than largely funding a profit-related industry. Some natural ways to support bees are:
- Plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden.
- Avoid using chemicals and pesticides that kill bees.
- If you see a landed tired bee on the sidewalk, take them in and give them a sugar solution for a quick burst of energy.
Are There Vegan Alternatives for Honey?
There are many alternative ways to sweeten your food or drinks without taking honey from bees.
- Agave syrup/nectar
Agave syrup is commercially produced by extracting from the agave plant. It is deep, thick, and it has caramel flavors.
- Maple syrup
Many vegans use maple syrup instead of honey because you can buy it naturally. Maple syrup is obtained from the extract of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple.
- Barley malt syrup
Most vegans describe barley malt syrup as the closest substitute for honey.
Beekeeping: Why Vegans Don’t Eat Honey
The beekeepers take the honey in the hive by wearing bee clothes (Because the bees protect their honey, this dress is worn so that they do not attack. Sometimes even many bees die while trying to prevent the farmers stealing their honey.) and leave a sugar substitute instead which is actually very harmful to bees where the bees cannot get the nutrients they need such as vitamins and minerals. Meanwhile, bees work to recover the honey they lost. In addition, honey bees are specially bred for higher yields. This selective breeding causes disease and death by narrowing the gene pool population.
It is known that imported bees that are placed in hives can also cause diseases. These diseases can then spread to other pollen carriers (birds, insects, etc.). The subject I will now explain is again commercial exploitation. Some bee breeders cut the queen’s wings to prevent the queen bee from leaving the hive and establishing a new colony elsewhere. As with any commercial industry, priority in beekeeping is always to make more profit.
As for why vegans don’t consume honey, vegans argue that humans do not have any rights over animals and demand animal freedom. Vegan individuals do not consume anything that is animal exploitation. In short, the only difference between a bee and a cow for a vegan is its dimensions. The bee is only a little smaller, the cow is a little bigger! The liberty of both is equal. I mentioned the difference between a cow and a bee, but what about the difference between humans and bees? We humans also have a difference from bees. We can live without consuming honey and honey products.
But bees? Yes, after this article and after researching the information and videos that will satisfy you, you will see that bees cannot live without honey. Bees produce honey for themselves and people don’t see it. Did you see the persecution of people on bees? Is it possible not to contribute to the persecution behind this labor? Of course, without consuming honey and honey products. Instead, you can consume molasses, tahini, various jams, agave syrup, which are the alternatives.
Vegan Guide: Information About Honey Industry
There is a common misconception that honey bees make their honey especially for us, but this is far from the truth. Honey is made by bees for bees, and when collected by humans, the health of bees can be sacrificed. As an important piece of information, collecting honey is incompatible with the Vegan Community’s definition that veganism aims to avoid not only persecution but also exploitation.
Honey is the energy source of bees; Without honey, bees would starve. Honey also provides the necessary nutrients in bad weather and in winter. Honey bee, the type of bee used in commercial honey production, visits a large number of flowers to collect enough nectar to fill the ‘honey stomach’, a second, separate stomach where enzymes begin to convert nectar into honey. After returning to the hive, the bees vomit this nectar out to complete the honey-making process, and this thing is trampled by the ‘house bees’.
The hive works jointly to provide an adequate supply to each member; Each bee produces honey “only one-twelve of a dessert spoon” for its lifetime, much less than most people think. Do you know that there are thousands of bee species that pollinate many useful plants? However, there are only 7 known species of honeybees and they only pollinate certain plants.
Honey, Beekeeping and Veganism: Unethical Practices
Traditional beekeepers aim to collect the maximum amount of honey by seeing high honey yields as a sign of success. When farmers remove honey from the hive, it is replaced by sugar, which is significantly worse for bees’ health, as it lacks essential micronutrients. In traditional beekeeping, honey bees are specially bred to increase productivity. This selective breeding narrows the gene pool of the already endangered population and increases the susceptibility to disease and large-scale deaths. The diseases are also caused by the import of different types of bees for use in hives.
These diseases then spread to thousands of other pollinators that we and other animals rely on; this makes the common myth that honey production is good for our environment controversial. In addition, hives can be scrapped after harvest to keep farmer costs low. The queen bees ‘wings are clipped to prevent them from leaving the hive and establishing a new colony elsewhere – because leaving the hive reduces the beekeepers’ productivity and profits. The popularity of honey does not show any signs of slowing down. The honey industry, like many other commercial industries, is profit-oriented – the welfare of bees is usually second to commercial earnings.
Mass breeding of honey bees also affects populations of other nectar-collecting insects, including other bees. With the overwhelming superiority of ever-growing farm bees, populations of many domestic wasps and various bird species have declined. Unlike bees, people can continue their lives without honey in their diet.
Luckily, there are many vegan alternatives for those who are fond of dessert. Products such as maple syrup, molasses, caramel syrup, golden syrup, and agave nectar are all useful options. Whether you need a material to bake, cook, to use as a sweetener in beverages, or when you want to eat a spoon from the jar after a long day. If you want to support bees, please do not buy wax or honey. Instead, consider donating to an appropriate protection grant.
Advice From a Vegan: Don’t Eat Honey!
Honey is the food the bee stores for its own and offspring. It is an acidic food consisting largely of simple sugar. Bees produce honey for themselves, not for humans. We confiscate the bees’ honey. In order to increase honey production, people even reproduce the queen bee in an unnatural way and cut their wings and try to ensure that loyal worker bees make more honey than usual for their lives. This causes stress and early deaths in bees. So in summary, we can say that honey is definitely not vegan.
1 spoon of honey is equal to the honey collected by 10 bees for life. Or it can be expressed as; In order to produce 1 kilo of honey, 40,000 bees must be put in 6 million flowers. So 100 million flowers are required for 1 honeycomb. Imagine the effort you put in and work with your 9 friends for life, and that a stranger seized it in a second. This is honey. 80% of honey is sugar. 90% of this sugar consists of simple sugars such as fructose and glucose. 10% are sucrose and maltose. As a result, the fructose-glucose ratio is about 55-45. Just like the industrial type of high fructose corn syrup contained in almost every packaged food.
17% of honey is water. 3% are trace elements and minerals from the flowers it extracts. The part that is said to be healthy is the vegetable content and water that we can reach without bees. In addition, it is a food far from ideal with its high sugar content and acidic structure. Honey produced from flowers in regions called biospheres may contain trace elements that we cannot coincide within normal vegetation. But still, there is nothing that the soil does not give us and we can get from honey. The antibiotic effect of honey is associated with the defensin-1 protein contained in it, and this effect has been shown to be in the wound site where the content is applied, not when the honey is eaten.
The reason that bees make more honey than they need is that man has manipulated this order. Queen bee determines the amount of honey to be made in the hive under normal conditions. People prevent the queen bee from cutting off its wings and ensure that the bees make honey constantly. This situation causes bees to be exposed to serious stress, which leads them to live less. So, as you can see, the honey sector is entirely based on persecution. If you want more detailed information on this subject, it is enough to browse the internet beekeeping forums for 5 minutes.
Veganism: About Other Bee Products
Royal jelly is a liquid secreted from the throat of worker bees. It is called this because it is white in color. One of the demonstrable benefits of royal jelly is the anti-tumor activity of 10-hydroxyl-2-decanoic acid and the wound healing activity of the defensin-1 protein. Antitumor activity was tested in human “cells” in a laboratory setting. In other words, there is no known victory in the human body against real cancer.
I can explain this as follows; If royal jelly screwdrivers, the hormone it acts on is a screw. This screwdriver can unscrew this screw in the workshop. But the human body is a huge apartment, will it be able to find and remove this screw in this apartment? Will it be able to defeat cancer even if it is removed, what if the cancerous tissue is nailed with nails and covered with insulation? Yes, this is exactly the validity of in vitro studies. It’s good to be suspect, but it’s too early to come to a conclusion. The wound healing property of the honey on the other hand, exists thanks to the help of a protein in the human body by applying honey to the wound site externally. So there is no miracle.
Propolis is a type of barrier that bees make from plants to protect the hive. The miraculous characterization of propolis is due to its phytochemicals. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids make up most of these phytochemicals. There are dozens of scientific articles on the benefits of all these compounds. When you look at these scientific articles one by one, you will see that the studies are done with a solution prepared from propolis or the substance it contains. After all, propolis is already a herbal product, it is quite natural that the ingredients are miraculous, but you don’t need to use beekeeping to get these ingredients, you can simply eat fruits and vegetables. Again, the effects shown as miraculous effects have not been done in people who have eaten honey or propolis in any study. Either it is applied to an extracted place or shown at the cell level in a laboratory setting.
Pollen (bee pollen or honey pollen) is a powder carried by honey bees from flowers. It is not a substance made by bees or contained in honey, but the plant extracts bees obtain from flowers. Pollen is actually the phytochemicals in nature. Flavonoids and phenolic compounds are the primary phytochemicals. Undoubtedly, all studies on these compounds have been shown to be beneficial in all. There are also publications showing the role of honey in cardiovascular disease. However, it should be noted that these studies are not made with people who eat honey, but with substances in honey. This is a widely used method in science. There are also those who use the opposite to misuse a kind of food.
For example, when you examine an article that says that soy poses a risk to human health, you will see that the study is not done with soy, but with a substance derived from soy. At this point, science literacy is very important. If you want to say that eating honey is good for the disease, you should compare a group of people who eat honey with equivalent people who eat something else you don’t expect the same effect instead of honey, and you should find a meaningful difference compared to the other group, and you should always find this result.
Honey, propolis, royal jelly, or pollen are not miracles. The real miracle is the nature, the vegetation. Honey, on the other hand, is an abundant sugary product of an industry that does persecute animals on the pretext of bringing all these miracles to your table.
Best Vegan Alternatives for Honey That You Can Buy Online
- NOW Foods, Certified Organic Light Agave Nectar, Blue Agave, Certified Non-GMO, Low-Glycemic Sweetener, Kosher, 23.2-Ounce
- ChocZero’s Maple Syrup. Sugar free, Low Carb, Sugar Alcohol free, Gluten Free, No preservatives, Non-GMO. Dessert and Breakfast Topping Syrup. 1 Bottle(12oz)