The honey that melts in your mouth, not in your hand
October 5, 2012 9:28 AM   Subscribe

What to do when your bees develop a taste for the residue of the confectionary process, with some rather visible side effects.

This kind of story is also the dream of every punning newspaper sub-editor.
posted by Wordshore (65 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
They missed the one about boo-bees.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:33 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


See also: Red honey in Brooklyn
posted by Greg Nog at 9:33 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bees: nature's flying dustmops.
posted by zippy at 9:34 AM on October 5, 2012


There's something wrong with this post - I can't find the link for ordering blue honey.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:35 AM on October 5, 2012 [24 favorites]


Side point: I can't help but look at the first picture and immediately think of various digital and video games.
posted by Wordshore at 9:36 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder what it tastes like, though. You'd think it would be sellable in a novelty kind of way.
posted by elizardbits at 9:36 AM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Our bees are eating candy!

Next, they will be watching too much TV!

Our children's children will only know the phrase "you are a lazy little bee, aren't you?"

Except all the bees will probably be extinct by then....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:37 AM on October 5, 2012 [12 favorites]


GenjiandProust: "Except all the bees will probably be extinct by then"

of Dia-bee-dees.
posted by boo_radley at 9:42 AM on October 5, 2012 [58 favorites]


From Greg Nog's link: She found it particularly hard to believe that the bees would travel all the way from Governors Island to gorge themselves on junk food.

I'm not sure if I'm amused or frightened that people don't get that calories are the fundamental unit of not dying rather than some hideous contaminant that factory farms put into our otherwise nutritious foods.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:44 AM on October 5, 2012 [44 favorites]


Paging mathowie: potential for Mefi-branded blue honey at a knockdown price.

contact: Yves Aivergette-Myansonthoz, D'Ammcandies, Aquillezem 72666
posted by MuffinMan at 9:46 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you've ever had a baby, you probably remember the first time your baby ate something full of artificial coloring and then had a diaper full of some really disturbing color. This is like that, but with bees.
posted by padraigin at 9:53 AM on October 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wonder what it tastes like, though. You'd think it would be sellable in a novelty kind of way.

Is there really a market for honey tainted with industrial waste byproducts? It's not blue because it's full of M&M delicious goodness. It's blue because it's full of - per the article - "waste from a Mars plant." I don't want to eat honey made from industrial waste, no matter what industry the waste came from, thanks.
posted by The World Famous at 9:54 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


They kind of buried the lede, though. Who would have thought there was such a thing as waste M&Ms, much less in industrial quantities?
posted by TedW at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't want to eat honey made from industrial waste

I totally do! I was really curious about what the red Brooklyn honey tasted like, and got super excited when I heard they were going to be selling it!

Unfortunately, it was very much sold as a novelty item, in little one-ounce overpriced jars, so it didn't seem worth it; I kinda wanted to get at least a pound of it, and try using it to make mead.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


But The World Famous, it's WONKALICIOUS waste!

(Seriously, this had Roald Dahl written all over it.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:58 AM on October 5, 2012


Greg Nog's Quadrant-Famous Bloodmead
posted by griphus at 9:59 AM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait, is this a honey boo boo?
posted by rocketpup at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


I don't want to eat honey made from industrial waste, no matter what industry the waste came from, thanks.

Isn't non-tainted honey usually made from waste of the agricultural industry?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another side issue is any effect that the blue additives/chemicals may have on the bees. Do we really need hyperactive disorder bees roaming above the European countryside? I think not.
posted by Wordshore at 10:03 AM on October 5, 2012


Isn't non-tainted honey usually made from waste of the agricultural industry?

No.
posted by The World Famous at 10:06 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do we really need hyperactive disorder bees roaming above the European countryside?

Not unless we can militarize them, obvsly.
posted by elizardbits at 10:10 AM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Weirdly colored foods are awesome. I would eat the hell out of that honey.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:10 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Next can we get beehives set up next to a glow-stick factory?
posted by DingoMutt at 10:13 AM on October 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't non-tainted honey usually made from waste of the agricultural industry?

I think the phrase you're looking for is "excess flower spooge."
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:13 AM on October 5, 2012 [11 favorites]


Is there really a market for honey tainted with industrial waste byproducts?Is there really a market for honey tainted with industrial waste byproducts?

Just put it in the candy section, which is across from the breakfast cereals.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:16 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't want to eat honey made from industrial waste, no matter what industry the waste came from, thanks.

I'm pretty sure it's just sugary dye, not 'industrial waste' in the sense of 'radioactive goo'. If it wasn't mostly sugar, the bees wouldn't want it anyway.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:18 AM on October 5, 2012


which is across from the breakfast cereals.

Which is indistinguishable from the breakfast cereals.
posted by elizardbits at 10:18 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tainted comb,
Whoa-oh-oh
Don't touch me please, I cannot stand <cage>THE BEES! OH GOD THE BEES!</cage>
posted by zippy at 10:20 AM on October 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


Just need to market it as Eurovision Honey.
posted by Kabanos at 10:21 AM on October 5, 2012


If this stuff is inedible it could be useful for making those stupid sugar sculptures that are stupid because you're not supposed to eat them so what's the point of sculpting with edible materials then instead of just using clay, stupid.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:24 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


If the industrial waste isn't poisonous, I don't see the problem. I think that and the bee health is the main question.

Friggin Lazy-assed Europeans. If that was here (like those mooks in NYC) we would already be tricked into wanting and eating "naturally colored" honeys. Where are your marketing guys??
posted by djrock3k at 10:24 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: Side point: I can't help but look at the first picture and immediately think of various digital and video games.

There was a game at a laundromat I used to frequent that I thought was called Puyo Pop (on googling that appears to be a different game), where you had to match colored bubbles in a hexagonal grid descending from above. This is exactly what that looks like.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:27 AM on October 5, 2012


This makes me want to keep bees so bad. Next to an open barrel of Mountain Dew.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:39 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Weirdly colored foods are awesome. I would eat the hell out of that honey.

You could easily add food coloring to honey. Coloring sugars is a fundamental technique in candy making. That's where this colored honey is coming from, candy residue.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:39 AM on October 5, 2012


This makes me want to keep bees so bad. Next to an open barrel of Mountain Dew

Blatant friend link
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:45 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


...a diaper full of some really disturbing color. This is like that, but with bees.

Oh that's disgusting! Why would you fill my head with the image of honey being poop?!

Honey is vomit.
posted by DU at 10:46 AM on October 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Just need to market it as Eurovision Honey.

That's worse yet. Instead of bees, it attracts Jedward.
posted by delfin at 10:51 AM on October 5, 2012


Metroid Baby: "Next to an open barrel of Mountain Dew."

Slight derail here, but oddly enough I have a "barrel of Mountain Dew" as a rain barrel. According to the labeling, it was shipped from Puerto Rico to the local bottling plant just northeast of Washington DC. The barrel contained concentrated flavoring but no sugar or corn syrup or caffeine. Water coming out of it smelled like Mountain Dew for a year.
posted by exogenous at 10:51 AM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Do we really need hyperactive disorder bees roaming above the European countryside?

Not unless we can militarize them, obvsly.
posted by elizardbits at 10:10 AM on October 5 [+] [!]



And so my crush on elizardbits grew three sizes today.
posted by blurker at 10:55 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weirdly colored foods are awesome. I would eat the hell out of that honey.

I used to think exactly that - and assumed our then adolescent sons would go happily nuts for the novelty green ketchup Heinz produced for a while.

It was the oddest thing -green ketchup looked so cool & gross-but-fun in the bottle. But thickly puddled on your plate - it immediately made food look deeply unappetizing. Even to teenage boys.

The almost full bottle of green ketchup just got pushed to the back of the cupboard - then was quietly thrown away.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:56 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


While I also wish this was the beginning of awesome colored honey showing up in the store, I doubt the beekeepers are calling it "unsellable" because they haven't realized people might pay money for fun colored honey.

If you've ever gotten small batch honey from a local bee keeper, you actually can tell a difference (in color and taste) depending on what type of trees or flowers those bees happen to frequent. Like how if you move around the country getting local milk it has a different taste depending on what type of feed those cows normally get. I assume this honey tastes god awful, because I would think you could sell "naturally colored" honey for a markup, even if it tasted slightly inferior to more naturally hued honey.
posted by jermsplan at 11:02 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The brooklyn article state the red honey tastes metallic and overly sweet. I wonder if the blue/green also tastes off? Nice to know there's a market for colored honey though. It shouldn't be too difficult to add some coloring to regular honey and charge a premium. Who wants a link to my new rainbow honey store?
posted by Crash at 11:03 AM on October 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Green eggs aren't that popular with kids either. Not even food-colored ice cubes.
posted by DU at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2012


50:50 the batch lot of Euro-honey will turn up at a midwest state fair next year, marketed as "Deep Fried Blue Honey on a Stick".
posted by Wordshore at 11:11 AM on October 5, 2012


They need to put another hive next to the titanium dioxide plant, and another next to a giant sugar beet compost heap.

Then they can sell Freedom Honey to America!
posted by zippy at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2012


This makes me want to keep bees so bad. Next to an open barrel of Mountain Dew.

An open barrel of moonshine? Sign me up!
posted by atbash at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2012


When the red bee story made its original rounds, I had to snort a little because I get tired of the whole foodie pretentious made-by-our-own-hands-in-the-soil etsypreciousness of some folks, and the anguished cry of foodie angst was a little satisfying. That said, I get being annoyed that bees circumvent your intentions, as my hive at home were sufficiently unhappy with the derecho and the changes to the canopy in my neighborhood that they took their honey and ran away from home.

The thing about honey, though, it that it always tastes like where it's from. My honey at home tasted boring and chrysanthemum-heavy because people plant stupid, ugly gardens where I live. My hive in Baltimore produces an ethereal, spicy, subtle sandalwoody honey because they're mainly harvesting from tree blossoms that grow around the JFX.

I was actually a bit jealous of the frustrated New Yorkers, though, because I take my Shirley Temples with extra maraschino cherries, so I'm fond of the little horrorfruits. I keep wishing I could get some of 'em when they're still in the blind cave cherry phase instead of after they've been dyed back to a color.
posted by sonascope at 11:50 AM on October 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


exogenous: "Slight derail here, but oddly enough I have a "barrel of Mountain Dew" as a rain barrel."

Can... can we see a picture of it?
posted by boo_radley at 12:06 PM on October 5, 2012


Meh. Honey Blue.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2012


boo_radley: "exogenous: "Slight derail here, but oddly enough I have a "barrel of Mountain Dew" as a rain barrel."

Can... can we see a picture of it?
"

It's not much to look at - just a big white polyethylene barrel with some rain barrel stuff attached. I regret not taking a picture of the label before tossing it out.
posted by exogenous at 12:55 PM on October 5, 2012


exogenous: "Slight derail here, but oddly enough I have a "barrel of Mountain Dew" as a rain barrel."
Can... can we see a picture of it?


Where can I get one?
posted by MtDewd at 12:56 PM on October 5, 2012


Try your local Pepsi bottling plant.
posted by exogenous at 12:57 PM on October 5, 2012


...a diaper full of some really disturbing color. This is like that, but with bees.

Oh that's disgusting! Why would you fill my head with the image of honey being poop?!


Of the disturbing mental images available from that sentence, your mind didn't pick the baby pooping bees?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:01 PM on October 5, 2012


and sonascope: favourited for "etsypreciousness"
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:02 PM on October 5, 2012


Oh man just when I thought horrible babies could not possibly get any worse.
posted by elizardbits at 1:02 PM on October 5, 2012


Interview with James R. Hannah, Sandy Mush, NC, August 1, 1998:

Hannah: A bee suit costs you 165 bucks. I had a friend that had some bees. Called him up one day, and he said, I want you to come up and check my bees. He said, "I pulled a rack of honey out, and it looks like looking into a church, stained glass." He said, told him he thought about it. Said, "Aw, I'll go up and see what's going on." So he went up there, and the guy pulled it out. He said it did look just like stained glass. So he sent his team of researchers up there to find out what was going on. About a mile and a half away was a street stand, sold snow cones. At night, he'd dump it on the street, right? All the different flavors and what. The bees were just having a ball with his, and it tested, and there was nothing wrong with the honey and noting wrong with the flavor. They just couldn't get the dye out of it.
posted by tangerine at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also, custom "enhanced" honey is an actual thing. Back in apiary science class, I decided to feed my hive with a little sarsparilla syrup to give my honey a little rooty zing. Had a classmate bitch because he was getting traces of rooty zing in his honey, but it was because his girls were robbing my hive, so ha!
posted by sonascope at 2:26 PM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


your mind didn't pick the baby pooping bees?

I once changed a toddler who, unbeknownst to me, had recently eaten blue sequins. Sparkle magic!
posted by zippy at 2:29 PM on October 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


The barrel contained concentrated flavoring but no sugar or corn syrup or caffeine. Water coming out of it smelled like Mountain Dew for a year.

This gives me the worst idea for a barrel-aged beer ever.
posted by sysinfo at 9:09 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unsellable? I would totally buy blue/green M&Ms colored honey.
posted by Xany at 3:42 AM on October 6, 2012


We talked to André Frieh earlier today, as we live about 30 miles away from him here in Alsace. We tried to purchase some of the blue honey, but he was very adamant that it had all been destroyed and that it was not something they could sell- since it was not actually honey, it could not be permitted to be sold for human consumption. And while he had tried a bit of it, it wasn't necessarily something that was known to be safe, so they had to destroy it. Likewise all the other members of the beekeeping association in the Haut-Rhin region (of which he is president) were destroying the honey with the same color characteristics.

He cares very much about the quality of his honey production, and this would have been a sub-par product. He said that he was not interested in making money from this freak occurrence, but that he only wants to produce quality honey.

So there's some info for you, right from the source!
posted by EricGjerde at 11:20 AM on October 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Plus, if they sold the blue honey at a premium, it'd probably weaken whatever legal action they might be considering.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:33 PM on October 6, 2012


it wasn't necessarily something that was known to be safe

As opposed to all the non-dyed sweet stuff the bees pick up?
posted by zippy at 7:15 PM on October 6, 2012


Natural substances the bees may pick up in the area are probably well known by now. For everything else one assumes they have some form of quality control. Much as I would like some funky colored honey, it's not unreasonable to act conservative and discard the stuff without waiting for the lab results - even though their desire to market the honey as pure and natural probably played a part in this.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:51 AM on October 7, 2012


exogenous: "It's not much to look at - just a big white polyethylene barrel with some rain barrel stuff attached. I regret not taking a picture of the label before tossing it out."

well, see, I was expecting a coopered hoop and plank barrel on account of it being Mountain Dew.
posted by boo_radley at 11:07 AM on October 9, 2012


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