French Bees Produce Blue Honey

  • Share
  • Read Later
Vincent Kessler/Reuters

French apiarist Andre Frieh holds a sample of normal honey (right) besides a blue colored one (left) at his home in Ribeauville near Colmar, Eastern France, October 5, 2012.

Mars Incorporated has proclaimed that “Chocolate is better in color” with its M&Ms. But French beekeepers may beg to differ on that.

Since August, beekeepers near the town of Ribeauville, in the northeastern region of Alsace, have been reporting their bees are producing blue and green honey, according to Reuters. And they’ve traced the cause back to a biogas plant that processes waste from an M&Ms factory.

(PHOTOS: Bee Beard Contest in China)

Bees are apparently picking up vibrantly colored, sugary waste from the plant, operated by the company Agrivalor some 2.5 miles away from their apiaries. A statement from Agrivalor that appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde said the company would clean its containers and store waste in airtight containers to prevent bees from reaching it.

“We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it,” Philippe Meinrad, co-manager of Agrivalor, told Reuters.

France generates 18,330 tons of honey per year, making it one of the largest honey producers in the European Union. In Alsace alone, about 2,400 beekeepers manage 35,000 colonies, which produce about 1,000 tons of the stuff per year. However, France hasn’t been spared by the largely unexplained decrease in the world bee population in recent years, Reuters reported.

Gill Maclean, a spokesperson for the British Beekeepers’ Association, told the BBC that the harsh winter of 2011-2012 may have affected bees’ ability to forage. This could be a reason why the bees sought out the alternate sugar.

“Bees are clever enough to know where the best sources of sugar are, if there are no others available,” Maclean told the BBC.

Rest assured: Consumers won’t see blue honey on store shelves anytime soon. Alain Frieh, president of the apiculturists’ union, told Reuters the only similarity between regular honey and their bees’ M&M-tainted byproducts might be taste.

“For me, it’s not honey,” Frieh told Reuters. “It’s not sellable.”

WATCH: Do City Bees Make Healthier Honey?

SEE ALSO:  The Big Surprise of Martin Luther King’s Speech 

54 comments
maplesyruppup
maplesyruppup

Hacky sackin was a way to get outa the ghetto life of compton u catch my drift er do u shred da gnar

maplesyruppup
maplesyruppup

i knew i was rich when i bought a used dolphin!

maplesyruppup
maplesyruppup

I deserve a free coat whether or not the ice cube burns ya know what im sayin! HACKY SACK MILLIONAIRES FOR LIFE!

HollyGuile
HollyGuile

Pssh. I'd buy the hell outta that.

Cillendor
Cillendor

If you wanna know the cause,  look to Monsanto and other pesticide organizations like that. They are killing the bees to prevent them from cross-pollinating from their plants in order to control the genes they own.

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

Don't you people know Ennything?  ZEe cheese; she is blue to match zee Bleu cheeses vue are famous forr, hough hough hough.

likalaruku
likalaruku

No two honeys taste alike. I say his taste buds are failing him.

Marinescu Lenuta
Marinescu Lenuta

Thanks for visiting my portfolio. Hope you find some interesting photos for your work!

Kelvin Foo
Kelvin Foo

The Mars company should just buy the beekeepers' honey and then release it themselves.

Shavonne Paroline
Shavonne Paroline

I don't blame them for not selling it-look how long purple ketchup lasted.

Ed Darrell
Ed Darrell

Sell it in the U.S. as "Mamp;M colored honey."  Kids will love it.   And imported?  Make sure the label is in French.

Kassem Tirani
Kassem Tirani

we just had enough with GM's produces and now this??

William Vosotros
William Vosotros

i wonder how the taste would differ from the regular honey..

Fly Emile
Fly Emile

Of course it is sellable!! Sadly, this world has gone mad... But hey, blue honey, how cool!

Tyler Wesson
Tyler Wesson

Wonder what would happen if the bees got near a Reese's Pieces factory?

Jody Drummond
Jody Drummond

I would think that they would try to sell the blue honey as a specialty honey, for twice the price....

Joshua Price
Joshua Price

I just got the new Time Magazine in the mail and I can now say I'm done with Time Magazine!! I've been reading your literature for years, but you guys left out the fact that the debates are being held illegally and it's Unconstitutional to leave Gary Johnson who is mathematically capable of winning this election out of your print this week!!! Here I thought your magazine was honest! I was a fool!

Nithya Sivaram
Nithya Sivaram

and we happily feed our kids this chemical stuff called M&M's and other \poisons

Jerry B Rushton
Jerry B Rushton

They also produce brown honey from the folks at Time because they are full of _

EjectDiskNow
EjectDiskNow

So this isn't a reason to charge 10x more for French honey?

Karen Sanguinetti
Karen Sanguinetti

Wow, and people still do not see how we corrupt the whole ecosystem when we accept the use of chemicals in our food..

iMaximusRex
iMaximusRex

@likalaruku While true, no two honeys taste alike, its also true that all honey tastes like honey, like no wines taste alike, but all wines taste like wine.

Obviously the intent was to say that the honey doesn't have and kind of overly bizarre taste despite the unusual color.

Well, I guess it wasn't obvious to you, or you wouldn't have made such a comment.

Ed Darrell
Ed Darrell

 Market it as a "once-in-a-lifetime" product -- or a "never to be to done again."

Champagne started out as a goof, too, you know.  The French ought to be savvy to making new wine markets from fermentations gone awry, so to speak.

Briana Lyn Delaney
Briana Lyn Delaney

 Ah but that was a tried-marketing ploy.  When things occur accidentally, success is more likely...

RubyRobot
RubyRobot

I'd rather not have honey tainted with synthetic dyes.

JasperHelle
JasperHelle

Yeah, but if it's coming from waste, is it even edible?

Though I suppose if they team up and used fresh stuff to make colored honey... even then, depends on the taste.

NickChira
NickChira

No doubt the primary reason they're not selling it is because it would ruin their ability to sue Mars.

Ed Darrell
Ed Darrell

 I'm thinking Mars would license it just to help mitigate any liability; if not, the honey producers could easily claim fair use.  Or just call it "candy colored."  I saw a television report that showed green, blue and brown, all reputed to be from the candy wastes. 

Heinz rather struck out with the colored ketchups, but I think there is some marketing possibility here.

NickChira
NickChira

Man, I'd hate to tell you, but you pretty much have no idea what's in your honey at any given time - I guarantee you pesticides have sprayed at some point on the plants generating the pollen the bees are eating, and even if not, well, there's decades of buildup of whatever in the soil.  Synthetic dyes are the least of your worries.