In theory, eating local honey is a great practice. However with our changing times what is more important is to consume honey that was created by happy and healthy bees. The only way to achieve this is to ask your local beekeeper if s/he has a treatment-free practice.
What is a treatment-free practice? Well, it means that the beekeeper never, under any circumstances, uses acids, antibiotics or other unnatural chemicals in the hives to kill mites and “protect the immunity” of the honeybee. A treatment-free beekeeper believes in letting nature take its course and in nature, it comes down to the survival of the fittest. If the mites kill the bees, then so be it and if the bees survive the mites, well that means you have a really strong and healthy hive and that is something to celebrate.
Also, a treatment-free beekeeper does not feed the bees a diet of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup because they took all their honey to sell, leaving nothing for the bees. Imagine if the only thing you ate for your entire life was processed cane sugar, GMO beet sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Beekeepers that are not working from a desperate foundation only sell surplus honey, making sure there is plenty for the bees before anything is taken to sell.
Finally, a treatment-free beekeeper will not support a migratory practice, meaning taking their bees hundreds, even thousands of miles to pollinate monocultures, i.e. land that grows one crop like almonds, avocados, etc… without offering a biodiverse (a medley of crops, trees, flowers and plants) land for the bees to pollinate as well. Bees, like humans thrive in diversity and this migratory practice wreaks havoc on a honeybee’s fragile immunity.
How Do You Find A Treatment-Free Beekeeper In Your Area? Believe it or not, Google! Search treatment-free beekeeper followed by your city and there you go. Make sure though to still ask the three questions mentioned above. You never know who you meet online;)
So there you go. Easy breezy. Now you know what to ask your beekeepers and how to shop with the plight of the honeybee in mind while having her back every step of the way. How cool is that?! xo