“Murder Hornets” and the Demise of the Honeybee

“Murder Hornets” are sweeping through the internet far faster than they are in the physical United States.  You can Google UC Davis Department of Entomology for the real scoop on the Asian hornets, or check out this link.  They aren’t a real threat to honeybees—yet.

The REAL THREAT to American honeybees is the the lack of commitment from all of us – to only buy 100% USA produced honey.  While prices on the shelves have remained constant, the price paid for honey to the U.S. beekeepers by big honey packers has dropped almost in half in the last 12 months.  Don’t dismiss the price drop as supply and demand.  Honey consumption is increasing in the United States, and according to Economics 101, prices paid to beekeepers should be rising.  Instead, they have fallen to a point where beekeepers are being forced out of business.

So, what’s happening?  With pesticide usage increasing and honeybee forage decreasing, American beekeepers are working harder and spending more money to take care of their bees.  On top of that, some foreign and domestic, bottled honey is being thinned with other products, including rice syrup, corn syrup, and sucrose.  Honey labels don’t help.  They are confusing and often don’t list the honey’s source or are not required to list additives under a certain percentage.  We are not necessarily being duped on purpose , but since most corporations are driven by profits, honey packers are enticed to buy the cheapest wholesale honey possible.  Buy low, sell high—it’s good business.  But, when a price is too good to be true, it’s usually not a pure product.  Like the designer handbag from the street corner vendor – when honey packers pay a price lower than the cost of production, it’s not real honey!

This has been going on far too long.  The American honey industry, which is an important part of our ecosystem, is beginning to die.  Please, only buy honey that says, “100% product of the United States.”  It costs you no more than a cup of coffee or donating $2 to charity on Facebook.  There is power in numbers.  Together we can spread the word and reverse the downward spiral of the United States honey industry.  


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