Oooooh, honey honey

Here’s a question for you to start your week – how do they mass produce honey?

The Surgeon General keeps bees so I know a little of how it is produced on small family farms, and it is fairly labour intensive to make honey. Plus honey from Long Meadow bees always tastes far superior to anything you can get in the supermarket, so how the big companies makes it can’t be the same.

I repeat, how do you mass produce honey? It is not like you can battery farm bees, or can you? I have visions of huge swathes of moorland given over to rampaging herds of bees, grazing on all the heather they can get their proboscis’ into, till the bee keeper whistles them in for the night, perhaps using so trained badgers as sheepdogs.

So I stretch the analogy some, but that is what my brain does! It makes these silly leaps when I have no information to fill the void, so again I ask – how do you mass produce honey?

12 thoughts on “Oooooh, honey honey

  1. Google it 😉 I did and there are newletters, pdf’s of conference papers, wiki entries… It seems to have it’s own language, but quite a poetic one, with talk of half-splits and hives becoming ‘queenright’… I was going to try to be smug and work out the answer, but it would take me all day and alas the peat bogs are calling….

  2. But I don’t want to Google it! I want my lovely minions to do the work for me. Go on, you know you want to. Bees are much more interesting that peat bogs any day of the week 😉

  3. OK Matt and I looked… we don’t think you can ‘mass produce’ it… from what we’ve seen there appear to be lots of sneaky tricks to get the bees to make more, and tips for moving them about, what to do when queens die etc, but that as far as it goes, the production method is pretty much the same (just scaled up) as The Surgeon General must do it.

  4. In whatever quantities honey is made, making it is becoming harder, not least because of the verroa mite, a parasite which lives on the blood of larvae and is thought to be largely responsible for colony collapse disorder in many places around the world. This has enormous consequences for polination — that is, the production of food — not just the production of honey.

  5. Neko, thanks for looking, but that’s almost disappointing to find out. I think I’ll stick with my vision of rampaging bee-herds and mile of countryside fenced off to serve as bee farms!

    David, are you by any chance a secret bee enthusiast? That’s an interesting point about the parasite being responsible for colony collapse. Less alien-invasiony than Dr Who’s recent explanation, but more scientific! And welcome to Bright Meadow and the comments 🙂

  6. I think it’s probably a scenario like the one in “The Matrix.” Lots of sleeping bees hooked up to a giant machine, with a Keanu Reeves bee out there making trouble for the Beekeeper.

  7. No I’m not a secret bee enthusiast. Just an avid listener to Radio National, one branch of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Thanks for the welcome. It’s nice to reciprocate since you left a comment on my first blog post.

  8. Kevin – that’s much more like it! Welcome also to Bright Meadow and the comments 🙂

    David, you link to me, I comment at your blog, you come back… It’s all part of the great karmic cycle of blogging. I hope you decide to stick around and have more fun 🙂

  9. Cas has just been sat on a bouncy exercise ball in my room, discussing bees with wearing shades and offering blue pills and red pills. The strangest thing about that? It doesn’t even make it into the top 10 of our weirdest conversations.

  10. And googling honey badgers to prove they exist, don’t forget that.

    And yes, I have this GREAT mental image of Morpheus-Bee, and sexy Trinity-Bee…

    Which is now all melding with the trailers for Bee Movie last year, and now I’m freaking myself out so I’m going to go read something to regain my sanity some.

    I need more sleep and less caffeine and sugar…

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