The difference between vegan and beegan is that the beegans eat honey while vegans are strict and don’t consume anything that is harming the animals. But inside that sentence lies paradox which vegans avoid or don’t want to think about it. I will talk about that paradox later under a section vegan paradox, but before that let talk about local beekeepers and difference between local beekeeping and industrial beekeeping.
Local vs. Industrial Beekeepers
Local beekeepers are your neighbors who have up to 50 beehives; if the local beekeeper has more than 50 beehives, then he can be considered a professional beekeeper and on that level quality of the beekeeping drops. By the quality I am not talking about the honey quality, I am talking about the time the beekeeper takes to investigate each beehive. If you don’t treat your bees properly, they will die, and that is the significant difference between industrial beekeeping and local beekeepers.
Local beekeepers will do anything to save the colony; they will check each beehive several times during the year, not only when is the time to harvest honey. They care for each colony and need each of them to survive. In industrial beekeeping, bees are not treated well. Queen is often intentionally killed before the harvesting season, so the beehive only contains honey and no eggs. And you must understand industrial beekeeping; they are here for the money, they can not lose time and money on doing what needs to be done on each beehive. They have 1000 or even more beehives which they move from place to place on huge trucks.
Industrial beekeeping is all about the money. There are also rumors that high-quality domestic honey is bought from local beekeepers and then mixed with god knows what kind of cheap low-quality honey and because of that is sold in stores for a low price. Don’t buy that honey; I am sure there is a beekeeper near you, go support him and his bees.
Without Bees World Will End
Maybe honey bee is not the best pollinator in the world because we know that solitary bees are the best pollinators, but you should also know that the numbers of solitary bees are crushed every year. And I will touch one part of the vegan paradox here and say that big part of the guilt for that is on the vegans. Vegans eat vegetables, grains, and other products that in the end harm the solitary bees. Solitary bees live on the ground, and we all know that farmers also want the highest possible yield and for that they need to kill all the pests with pesticides. On some farms, pesticide spraying is done from the air.
Spraying crops from the air is hazardous not only to the solitary bees but also to all insects living near the spraying field. Scattering from the air should be banned, but you know who cares about that as long money is made. If you are genuinely trying to live without harming any animal, you should stop buying all food and eat only what you grow, and in the vegan paradox, I will show you that growing your own food is also not a good idea.
Since the solitary bee numbers are declining, then we have only honey bees to pollinate our fields. We are lucky that humans and bees are living in harmony for over two thousand years. The bond between a man and a bee is strong. We will always have bees near us, and we will always eat that delicious honey, and in a matter of fact, bees want us to take their honey. If you know anything about beekeeping, then you know that they will fill the hive entirely with honey and if the queen has no room for laying eggs the colony will collapse. Because of that, you need to create a space for a queen by harvesting excessive honey. Later before the winter, you can feed them if they lack proper amounts of food required for safe winter sleep. All of this need to be done in every beehive, so you now see that there are lots of things a beekeeper need to do to keep his bee colony healthy.
Veganism is activism, and I have nothing against that but where is the line? You need to draw a line, and each person needs to draw it for himself. Eating eggs is for sure better than eating meat, you can have backyard chickens who freely run through the backyard and do whatever they want to do, play, dance, mate, whatever and trust me they will not mind if you take few eggs from them. You can consider this as a payment for their food. I bet if you ask a cow to give some milk for a happy life with unlimited food, proper treatment, and completely free to move in a backyard that all of the cows would sign a contract. The hell, we humans are functioning in the same way, you work for someone, and you get paid.
I have chicken and other animals in my backyard, I do not eat eggs, but my dogs eat them. Am I vegan? I mean, I keep my dogs with chicken and dogs eat lots of their eggs. Its sounds against vegan rules. But there is a more in-depth story behind. These two dogs are hunting dogs, large, dominant dogs without fear and they are protecting my animals from predators. Do you know how many animals I lost since I let my dogs walk freely side by side with chicken and ducks?
None, there was no predator anywhere near my backyard. Before that, I lost a lot of animals because the fox has come for dinner. And if you know what I am talking about, then you understand when a fox comes nobody will survive, she takes everything. I have other predators like a weasel; she just sucks blood. I lost several ducks to weasel. But since I have guarding dogs, all of my friends are alive. Now if you ask my ducks if they want 100% safety in my backyard and for a return, some of their eggs will be eaten by dogs would they sign the contract? Maybe they would not, but before winter when fox come, they would regret that decision.
You see, nothing is black and white and harmony is somewhere in the middle, and that is a true way of living. Veganism is a step forward that is for sure, but then there needs to be some common sense. If you eat snacks with palm oil, you are hurting more animals than one beekeeper hurts bees. Vegans love sweet food, and they consume agave, and if you dig deep in how this syrup is made, you will see that more harm is done to the animals by producing agave syrup than eating honey. So where is the line?
If you are eating agave syrup with your vegan pancakes which I am sure many of you do, please do the education and see what is doing less harm to the animals, agave syrup production or local beekeeping. In the end, you are the one that needs to choose what kind of vegan you want to be and trust me there are many levels of veganism you can seat on. But that is an entirely different topic which I leave for the next time and a whole new article.