A story from the archives for you inspired by its recent re-appearance on the IFL science Facebook page…back in October 2012 French bee keepers were shocked to find honey of a range of unpalatable (and unsellable) colours including blue and green appearing in their beehives.
The culprit was soon uncovered, a local biogas plant was processing waste from a factory producing M&Ms, chocolate or peanut covered in coloured sugar shells. The bees were collecting the sweet stuff and bringing it back to their hives producing very funky coloured “honey”. As soon as the plant in question realised what was happening they quickly removed all waste from outside containers and stored it under cover where the bees could not get at it.
People have posted comments about not wanting sugar in their honey but some honey already does contain added sugar or worse, glucose fructose syrup. This is because beekeepers want to collect as much honey as possible but still need to leave the hives with enough reserves for the winter. As sugar and glucose fructose syrup costs less than they can sell the honey for, some beekeepers harvest too much and then feed the bees with sugary solution. Any of this that is not consumed by the bees will be in the next batch of honey harvested.
At last look the story had over 420,000 likes and over 20,000 comments.