Since August, bees around the town of Ribeauville in northeastern France have been turning up with abdomens swollen in colors of blue and green, an unnatural rainbow that is also reflected in the color of their honey. Now, beekeepers are pointing fingers at a nearby biogas plant that processes waste from an M&M’s factory.
Though the colorful honey seems to taste identical to the normal amber variety, the apiculturalists are not amused. ”For me, it’s not honey. It’s not sellable,” one bee keeper told Reuters.
The company in question said they’ve adopted new cleaning procedures to try and deter sugar-seeking bees and that they will also start to store incoming candy waste in a covered hall.
The curious case of the blue and green honey recalls a similar incident in New York City in 2010, when some local Brooklyn and Governor’s Island bees began producing honey in “a garish bright red,” according to the New York Times. The culprit? Red Dye No. 40 from the Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company.
The Times pointed out the sinister irresistibility of such sweet treats for both bees and humans alike:
Could the tastiest nectar, even close by the hives, compete with the charms of a liquid so abundant, so vibrant and so cloyingly sweet? Perhaps the conundrum raises another disturbing question: If the bees cannot resist those three qualities, what hope do the rest of us have?
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