Environmental impact of the honey industry??? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-31-2016, 11:52 PM
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Question Environmental impact of the honey industry???

Hi all,

I'm a relatively new vegan (as of Christmas Day 2015), and I have become one purely because I was informed of the environmental impact that the livestock industry has on the environment.

One thing that I'm concerned about is the production of honey. I understand that consuming honey is not vegan, but can someone please inform me of the impact that the honey industry on the environment? I've come across little information online, and what information I do find tends to be more focused on the welfare of the bees, which is something I'm not concerned with.

I never really consumed that much honey to begin with, I'd just really like to be more informed on the topic.
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#2 Old 02-01-2016, 01:36 AM
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well one problem with commercial honey production is the transport of bee hives around the country which can lead to the transport of mites, which infect the local feral bee populations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...e#Varroa_mites


I don't know much about it really, but that seems to be one environmental problem.


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#3 Old 02-04-2016, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for that, I'll keep on the lookout for more information on the topic.
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#4 Old 02-05-2016, 05:19 AM
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What environmental impact are you asking about specifically? Impact to other/native species (since honeybees aren't native to the US)? Impact to water? Impact to plants? Impact to what? Positive impact or negative impact?

You'll likely have to narrow down your search.
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#5 Old 02-05-2016, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DTentacle View Post
I've come across little information online, and what information I do find tends to be more focused on the welfare of the bees, which is something I'm not concerned with.
You should be EXTREMELY concerned with this, because what happens to bees is going to impact not only food production in a major way, but also the entire ecosystem, of which bees are a more integral part than most people seem to realize.

Honey bees, both domestic and wild, have been dying off in massive numbers for years, and now the problem is affecting other bees also. Scientists have been studying the problem, and it now appears that it's almost entirely human caused: https://www.sciencerecorder.com/news...lds-honeybees/
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#6 Old 02-24-2016, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TailFin View Post
What environmental impact are you asking about specifically? Impact to other/native species (since honeybees aren't native to the US)? Impact to water? Impact to plants? Impact to what? Positive impact or negative impact?

You'll likely have to narrow down your search.
Thanks. I'm more interested in the negative environmental impact, such as consumption of resources in the manufacturing process. I have many friends who strongly believe, with little research, that the honey industry is good for the environment and raises awareness to reports of bees having issues.

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Originally Posted by Beautiful Joe View Post
You should be EXTREMELY concerned with this, because what happens to bees is going to impact not only food production in a major way, but also the entire ecosystem, of which bees are a more integral part than most people seem to realize.

Honey bees, both domestic and wild, have been dying off in massive numbers for years, and now the problem is affecting other bees also. Scientists have been studying the problem, and it now appears that it's almost entirely human caused: https://www.sciencerecorder.com/news...lds-honeybees/
Thanks for the link. I think I've been misinterpreted. What is meant was that I'm not concerned with their welfare in this topic. This part of the forum is for environmental issues, and I didn't want it to get sidetracked with ethical opinions when I'd rather discuss facts on environmental issues.
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#7 Old 02-25-2016, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTentacle View Post
Thanks. I'm more interested in the negative environmental impact, such as consumption of resources in the manufacturing process. I have many friends who strongly believe, with little research, that the honey industry is good for the environment and raises awareness to reports of bees having issues.



Thanks for the link. I think I've been misinterpreted. What is meant was that I'm not concerned with their welfare in this topic. This part of the forum is for environmental issues, and I didn't want it to get sidetracked with ethical opinions when I'd rather discuss facts on environmental issues.
The bees dying off is an environmental issue, though, and more specifically a human food supply issue. Without the bees, the plants would not be fertilized. Pretty significant
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#8 Old 02-25-2016, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DTentacle View Post
Thanks. I'm more interested in the negative environmental impact, such as consumption of resources in the manufacturing process. I have many friends who strongly believe, with little research, that the honey industry is good for the environment and raises awareness to reports of bees having issues.
Hmm... I'm still not completely clear. From what it sounds like, your friends are essentially saying, "The honey industry is good, because it shows us there is bad things happening to bees". Isn't that like saying, "It's good that tsunamis happen, because now we can be aware of them"?

As for consumption of resources in manufacturing process, I still would like more information on how you define "resources". Do you mean land, animals, oil, energy, water, etc? I'm not trying to nitpick, but if you want detailed information, you need to get in the weeds.

Instead of us researching this, why don't you see what you can find first? I don't think anyone here is a bee expert, or if they are, they haven't seen this thread, yet.
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#9 Old 02-25-2016, 07:24 AM
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I don't know if honey itself is an environmental issue. The bees dying off are an environmental concern and pose a serious threat to our food system. The decrease in the bee population has been linked to pesticides (specifically,neonicotinoids). Although, I wonder what the impact of stress and the possible spread of diseases from transport has on bees.

I don't know if an environmental argument can be made against honey from small local farms/ beekeepers. Although the intended purpose of honey is for food stores during the winter.
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#10 Old 02-25-2016, 07:58 AM
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I have been a beekeeper (not commercially). I thought I addressed the OP's question, but apparently I'm not understanding what the OP is trying to ask.
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#11 Old 02-25-2016, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
The bees dying off is an environmental issue, though, and more specifically a human food supply issue. Without the bees, the plants would not be fertilized. Pretty significant
Actually honey bees are not that efficient with fertilization. But as they are domesticated, we pay more attention to them dying than to other insects.
Bombilius, hoverflies and wild bees are more efficient pollinisators and they are also suffering from chemicals. People who make honey help us notice this, because they can easily measure the health of their hives. They also advocate against monoculture so the bees can eat during the whole season and not only when the colza is blooming.

A downside of honey cultivation is that the domesticated bees (not very good with pollinisation) are competing for food with the wild bees, wild bees that are already dying from phytosanitary products !

So, basically, if we spread less toxic stuff and leave more wild flowers, there should be enough food for our honey bees and also for the precious wild pollinisators (I'm speaking about France).

Yes I'm a honey-eating little bear, I buy it from the producers in my region or in holidays.


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Bon appétit !
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#12 Old 03-02-2016, 06:07 PM
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Yeah I decided to be a "no honey" vegan because of this. I know some vegans see insects in a totally different category, and I'll admit from an environmental and pragmatic standpoint people eating locusts sits better with me than factory farming mammals or birds, and wins out over being stupidly idealistic. ..but the honey thing should become an issue even for non-vegans, because once the bees go, we are completely done, on a global interspecies scale.
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