Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 350 of our Green Year: Organic Honey

For the past few years, there has been a condition going through bee colonies around the world where the colonies collapse as the bees abandon them, or die in them. Many feel that it is as a result of climate change and how some beekeepers handle their bees and harvest the honey. Two years ago, I interviewed a beekeeper about colony collapses for the paper I was editor of and he felt that it was because bees are often transported almost constantly throughout the year in the United States, and many chemicals are used for the harvest of the honey that spreads throughout the colonies.

As a result, Layla and I will be purchasing organic honey that is also relatively local to where we are. Under law, honey cannot be labeled organic if its production contains any trace of chemicals, drugs or antibiotics. Some beekeepers use sulfa compounds and antibiotics to control the diseases of bees, and carbolic acid to remove the honey from the hive. As well, some use calcium cyanide to kill colonies before they get the honey out.

Organic honey is safe to eat and the beekeepers take the organic part of the name very seriously. They safeguard a natural habitat for the bees, providing them their nourishment in a natural way as nature intended. Bees are not exterminated at the end of the season either, instead the beekeepers honor the natural life cycle of the bees and rarely transport them anywhere.

So for us, it is organic honey all the way.