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Sacre bleu! Mystery of French bees making coloured honey is solved... after keepers find M&M waste plant nearby

Beekeepers in France were confused after their bees produced honey in mysterious shades of blue and green.

But now the mystery has been solved as its now believed residue from containers of M&M's candy processed at a nearby biogas plant n northeastern France is the cause.

Since August, beekeepers around the town of Ribeauville in the region of Alsace have seen bees returning to their hives carrying unidentified colourful substances that have turned their honey unnatural shades.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

Determined to solve the mystery the beekeepers embarked on an investigation and discovered that a biogas plant 4 km (2.5 miles) away has been processing waste from a Mars plant producing M&M's, bite-sized candies in bright red, blue, green, yellow and brown shells.

Asked about the issue, Mars had no immediate comment.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

The unsellable honey is a new headache for around a dozen affected beekeepers already dealing with high bee mortality rates and dwindling honey supplies following a harsh winter, said Alain Frieh, president of the apiculturists' union.

Agrivalor, the company operating the biogas plant, said it had tried to address the problem after being notified of it by the beekeepers.

'We discovered the problem at the same time they did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it,' Philippe Meinrad, co-manager of Agrivalor, told Reuters.

He said the company had cleaned its containers and incoming waste would now be stored in a covered hall.

Mars operates a chocolate factory near Strasbourg, around 100 km (62 miles) away from the affected apiaries.

Bee numbers have been rapidly declining around the world in the last few years and the French government has banned a widely used pesticide, Cruiser OSR, that one study has linked to high mortality rates.

France is one of the largest producers of honey within the European Union, producing some 18,330 tonnes annually, according to a recent audit conducted for national farm agency FranceAgriMer.

Ribeauville, situated on a scenic wine route southwest of Strasbourg, is best known for its vineyards.

But living aside winemakers are about 2,400 beekeepers in Alsace who tend some 35,000 colonies and produce about 1,000 tonnes of honey per year, according to the region's chamber of agriculture.

As for the M&M's-infused honey, union head Frieh said it might taste like honey, but there the comparison stopped.

'For me, it's not honey. It's not sellable.'


source


I would buy those coloured honeys! yum_tea
jellykans's avatar

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Quote:
Sacre bleu! Mystery of French bees making coloured honey is solved... after keepers find M&M waste plant nearby

Beekeepers in France were confused after their bees produced honey in mysterious shades of blue and green.

I would buy those coloured honeys! yum_tea


Probably they would sell here as a novelty, but the honey wouldn't get through customs. My first response was a great laugh that was hard to stop, but bees are very seriously endangered, all species, world-wide, so it is a particularly serious issue - and Mars was clearly creating a polluted site, though they will try to deny it.

This is the first I have seen of a possible cause, and anything that endangers bees is serious. What most people don't get is that it is not at all an isolated problem, bees are endangers across the planet. What does that mean? A few less stings?

Bee stings are not all that common, really, most can be avoided. Butif there are no bees, fruit will have to be pollinated by hand. Imagine carrying flower pollen from the one flower of one tree to one flower of another tree for each and every piece of fruit That is what is done by bees for us today. Fruit ;farms would go under in large part and the price of fruits would skyrocket. Fruit would also be very scarce.

The French aren't going to let Mars off lightly. They take food quite seriously.
kakteed's avatar

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Honestly, I know the farmers are upset and they probably CAN'T sell the multi-colored honey which really does suck because honey farmers barely scrape by in general.

But that's AWESOME.
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If you ask me, Mars should be paying them a heck of a lot of money in damages to make up for this. That honey may be pretty, but they pretty clearly said "containers," not the candy themselves. Whatever residue they're getting is probably not the healthiest thing to be ingesting. gonk I'm glad they figured out what was causing it, though. That's always good.
kakteed's avatar

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Ringoringa
If you ask me, Mars should be paying them a heck of a lot of money in damages to make up for this. That honey may be pretty, but they pretty clearly said "containers," not the candy themselves. Whatever residue they're getting is probably not the healthiest thing to be ingesting. gonk I'm glad they figured out what was causing it, though. That's always good.


Hm? I don't think it would be dangerous to eat. They say the color came from the waste in the containers, which for all intents and purposes, probably have only had dye in them from the first time they were used.
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kakteed
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If you ask me, Mars should be paying them a heck of a lot of money in damages to make up for this. That honey may be pretty, but they pretty clearly said "containers," not the candy themselves. Whatever residue they're getting is probably not the healthiest thing to be ingesting. gonk I'm glad they figured out what was causing it, though. That's always good.


Hm? I don't think it would be dangerous to eat. They say the color came from the waste in the containers, which for all intents and purposes, probably have only had dye in them from the first time they were used.


If that's the case, then why aren't they selling it? Even if it isn't technically honey to them, all they have to do is label it properly, don't they? I'm sure somebody would buy it for the novelty. It's certainly better than letting themselves lose all that money for no reason.
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That's the funniest thing concerning bees I've read all day!
kakteed's avatar

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Ringoringa
kakteed
Ringoringa
If you ask me, Mars should be paying them a heck of a lot of money in damages to make up for this. That honey may be pretty, but they pretty clearly said "containers," not the candy themselves. Whatever residue they're getting is probably not the healthiest thing to be ingesting. gonk I'm glad they figured out what was causing it, though. That's always good.


Hm? I don't think it would be dangerous to eat. They say the color came from the waste in the containers, which for all intents and purposes, probably have only had dye in them from the first time they were used.


If that's the case, then why aren't they selling it? Even if it isn't technically honey to them, all they have to do is label it properly, don't they? I'm sure somebody would buy it for the novelty. It's certainly better than letting themselves lose all that money for no reason.


Well for one, small French food producers can be pretty snobby. I had to interview some people at a market while I was in Europe. It was not fun. Very tasty, but not much fun.

Secondly, because what I think might not be the case. There might have been some compound in the dye containers that change the composition of the honey that make it unfit for public consumption; I'm just thinking it's unlikely since anything the bees picked up, many people have eaten and not gotten sick from, and the article stated that the honey still tasted like honey.
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Ringoringa
If you ask me, Mars should be paying them a heck of a lot of money in damages to make up for this.
Mars is not responsible; the fault lies with the biogas company Agrivalor that was improperly processing the waste.
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I'll take a jar of green, please. It looks like melted peridots.

Wonder why there was no red honey?
kakteed's avatar

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Ratttking
I'll take a jar of green, please. It looks like melted peridots.

Wonder why there was no red honey?


Or absinthe.

*shrug*
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kakteed
Ratttking
I'll take a jar of green, please. It looks like melted peridots.

Wonder why there was no red honey?


Or absinthe.

*shrug*
Or Midori. emotion_kirakira
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Ratttking
Ringoringa
If you ask me, Mars should be paying them a heck of a lot of money in damages to make up for this.
Mars is not responsible; the fault lies with the biogas company Agrivalor that was improperly processing the waste.


Fair enough; my apologies for misreading the article.
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Vampirate Kitsune
Quote:
Sacre bleu! Mystery of French bees making coloured honey is solved... after keepers find M&M waste plant nearby

Beekeepers in France were confused after their bees produced honey in mysterious shades of blue and green.

But now the mystery has been solved as its now believed residue from containers of M&M's candy processed at a nearby biogas plant n northeastern France is the cause.

Since August, beekeepers around the town of Ribeauville in the region of Alsace have seen bees returning to their hives carrying unidentified colourful substances that have turned their honey unnatural shades.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

Determined to solve the mystery the beekeepers embarked on an investigation and discovered that a biogas plant 4 km (2.5 miles) away has been processing waste from a Mars plant producing M&M's, bite-sized candies in bright red, blue, green, yellow and brown shells.

Asked about the issue, Mars had no immediate comment.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

The unsellable honey is a new headache for around a dozen affected beekeepers already dealing with high bee mortality rates and dwindling honey supplies following a harsh winter, said Alain Frieh, president of the apiculturists' union.

Agrivalor, the company operating the biogas plant, said it had tried to address the problem after being notified of it by the beekeepers.

'We discovered the problem at the same time they did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it,' Philippe Meinrad, co-manager of Agrivalor, told Reuters.

He said the company had cleaned its containers and incoming waste would now be stored in a covered hall.

Mars operates a chocolate factory near Strasbourg, around 100 km (62 miles) away from the affected apiaries.

Bee numbers have been rapidly declining around the world in the last few years and the French government has banned a widely used pesticide, Cruiser OSR, that one study has linked to high mortality rates.

France is one of the largest producers of honey within the European Union, producing some 18,330 tonnes annually, according to a recent audit conducted for national farm agency FranceAgriMer.

Ribeauville, situated on a scenic wine route southwest of Strasbourg, is best known for its vineyards.

But living aside winemakers are about 2,400 beekeepers in Alsace who tend some 35,000 colonies and produce about 1,000 tonnes of honey per year, according to the region's chamber of agriculture.

As for the M&M's-infused honey, union head Frieh said it might taste like honey, but there the comparison stopped.

'For me, it's not honey. It's not sellable.'


source


I would buy those coloured honeys! yum_tea


is it bad if I'd also buy them just to put it on toast? and for cooking I mean.. who needs food coloring!?

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