Thursday, January 15, 2009

The myth of organic beekeeping.

Often I get the question "is the honey organic" Unlike other agricultural products bees can't be limited to a certain area since they fly up to 3 miles or more to forage. Organic cattle, sheep, chickens and other certified organic livestock can be easily kept on one plot of land, this is not true of bees. The bulk of commercial beekeeping is done in agricultural areas which can be problematic since these are the same areas where pesticides are use and other chemicals. Another issue is pollination. Pollination is where commercial beekeepers really make there money and pollination is what we depend upon to increase crop yields and keep reasonably priced produce coming to market. The issue is how healthy is this for the bees and are there any implications. The bees are feasting upon a mono nutrient. Lets say orange blossom or almond blossoms; for those who have seen the movie "supersize me" we know how healthy it is to eat one type of food. I believe that unlike in nature where there is a diversity in forage, that industrial agriculture is contributing to colony colapse disorder which is probably a disease that has been around for over 100 years but has reappeared recently due to bees with compromised immune systems. The image that is exploited and marketed by organic labling is that the product is naturally produced. How natural is 1000 acres of oranges, apples, almonds etc.. Even if the farms are certified organic it is still not what you find in nature like the organic image connotates.

A good article on the subject can be found at :