What Started As A Review Became A Wake-Up Call

I never planned on speaking about Natio on this blog due to the price tags completely defeating the purpose of being thrifty. But then I saw a few products sitting in the bargain bin at Priceline. At $5 each, it didn't hurt to try them out and talk about the brand. Natio is on the CCF List, being predominantly vegan with a portion of their products containing animal derivatives. The Lip Shine that I picked up contains beeswax though, and for most vegans, and some vegetarians, this is a big NO.

I hadn't done enough research on the beekeeping industry before today, because as a vegetarian, when you hear "honey", you think of it being harvested in a similar way to milk and eggs. Sadly, I couldn't have been more wrong. It is not as simple as that. In fact, it is a rather cruel and exploitative industry. Based on the facts from my research, I will be taking steps to eliminate honey and other bee by-products from my lifestyle. The reasons why I've formed the opinion that the beekeeping industry isn't vegetarian are as follows:

Firstly, we rob them of their food sources, their life's work, and their homes. In the world of bees, honey is created for the sole purpose of feeding the queen, larvae, and drones, It is also the main food source for the bees during the winter months, where little to no nectar or pollen is available. When the honey is extracted in Autumn, the bees are then fed sugar water, which has no nutritional value for the bees. Royal Jelly is fed to all of the larvae within two days of their birth, and the queen bee lives on a diet purely consisting of Royal Jelly for all of her life. Extracting honey and other bee products means we lay waste all the effort the worker bees put into collecting pollen and nectar, carrying and regurgitating it repeatedly in order to turn it into honey. Worker bees literally work themselves to death, travelling thousands of kilometres, building the combs as they go along and producing only one teaspoon of honey per lifetime. Beeswax is produced in order to build their homes, and to "cap" the honey in the combs. Propolis is created in order to act as a glue as well as an antiseptic.

Secondly, they are put under tremendous amounts of stress due to being relocated as the seasons change. They are crammed together on a transport vehicle, and taken to an entirely new place, whether by air, rail or road. When relocation occurs, the bees have to find new feeding sources, and memorise the geography of the area. Aside from being stressed by the transport and discovering a new area, they are also subjected to a lot of inhumane methods, such as; having their hives smoked by beekeepers, which makes the bees drowsy and prevents them from protecting their honey as it is taken, and they are routinely handled and examined, some of them dying in the process, treated with drugs and pesticides, and even artificial insemination.

Lastly, a lot of bees are harmed or killed in the beekeeping industry. The queen bee often has her wings clipped, so she cannot swarm with half the colony to find a new area to set up a new colony. More often than not, the beekeeper will kill the reigning queen as soon as the second year is up to make way for the new queen bee. If two colonies are to be combined, the weaker queen is killed off to speed up the merging of two colonies. Not only that, many beekeepers kill off their hives by setting them on fire just before the winter season ends. Bees die when they use their stingers as they try to protect their hives and honey. Some are even squashed to death or stepped on as the keeper attempts to get to the honey.

I own very few bee products, and shall be going through them before completely eliminating it from my lifestyle. It gives me a gut wrenching feeling that I have been unknowingly hurting bees by consuming honey and other bee ingredients, and that is why I have made the conscious choice to no longer support the beekeeping industry.


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