There is no way to exploit an animal and love them at the same time (regarding beekeeping)
Let me tell you a story about two beehives.
We’ve all seen a beehive in the wild, yes? If you have not, it’s a small paper thing with very limited space for honey and brood. The bees spend days of labor to build this entire hive with not so much space, which leaves less time to collect precious honey for the winter. “We must hurry!” Say the wild bees. “Soon winter will come and we need to stock up on food!!”
Now let’s move on to the beekeeper’s hive. It’s nice and big, with lots of space and a grid that makes it easy to build honeycomb and fill it with nice sweet honey. “We have lots of space and spare time with this nice big new home!” The bees say, and they fill the whole thing up with food storage and nurseries.
“HA!” Laugh the wild bees. “Your hive is full, and now you have nothing to do!”
“No matter” say the honeybees. “Our beekeeper has added a whole new room to our hive! Now we can collect and store even more honey and brood!” The honeybees and wild bees continue to collect pollen and nectar, when suddenly, an epidemic of mites comes to bee meadow!
“These mites are awful!” Says one wild bee to another.
“They sure are!” The honeybee colony agrees.
The wild worker scoffs and says with a smug tone “Where is your beekeeper now? Surely they cannot save you from this terrible sickness!”
“Our beekeeper came by yesterday, and cured us of our mites!” The honeybee happily replied. “And they’re putting up a fence tomorrow because they heard there are predators in the area!”
Spring and summer passed by as usual. All of the bees collected pollen and nectar at their own pace.
Then, one autumn afternoon, the hive of wild bees discovers that the honeybees had been ROBBED! Robbed by their own beekeeper!
“HA HA!” Laughed the wild bees. “Your beekeeper betrayed you! And now you will never survive the winter! All of that protection and safety for naught!”
“Actually, we have plenty of honey.” The honeybees say. “We have even more than you do!”
It was true. The wild bees were stunned to see that their neighboring hive had plenty of honey to get by on, while their own honey stores would just barely get them through the winter.
“Well I’ll be!” the wild bees exclaim. “Maybe this beekeeping business isn’t as bad as I thought!”
In short, if you buy from a kind local beekeeper, the honey that comes to your kitchen is always going to be EXTRA honey. Honey the bees made way too much of because they had the recourses to do so. When we take honey, we carefully brush each bee off of each frame and take extra special care that nobody gets hurt.
I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say. Also, commercial beekeepers tend to not be quite so good. They take all the bee’s winter supply and feed them sugar water, they have too many hives in one place and exhaust their recourses, etc etc.
In the shortest of short; Support local beekeepers. More safe hives means more safe bees. Plant bee flowers. Be kind. (Bee kind, heehee.)
Sorry for the long post, and please enjoy the rest of your day.