General Question

cazzie's avatar

Should I eat honey from a hive that is in a highly industrial urban environment?

Asked by cazzie (24503points) September 15th, 2015

I was given a jar of honey and I thought it tasted a bit off. I’ve compared it to a jar I was given by a local grower out here in the country and it looks and smells very different. I’ve tried googling information about urban honey and bee hives and it wasn’t very encouraging. Seems the bees eat what ever is easiest and end up drinking water from contaminated puddles and the like. Any ideas? Not to worry? Toss it?

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13 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have a BS from the best Ag college in the state. I wouldn’t touch it. And I prefer organics any chance I get. There’s just too much junk out there to chance it.

gorillapaws's avatar

I don’t eat stuff that tastes “off.” Be sure to recycle the jar though.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Honeys taste varies quite considerably depending on the flowers in the area it was produced. Somewhat amusingly in large cities you often get a much wider variety of flowers than in the countryside which will alter the taste.

jca's avatar

If you google “Counterfeit Honey,” you’ll see it’s one of the most counterfeited foods on the market today. I am wondering if the honey you have is counterfeit and that’s why it tastes “off.”

cazzie's avatar

@jca it is from my ex’s new girlfriend’s hives in the city where they live. My kid helped bottle it. It is actual honey.. it just isn’t very good.

jca's avatar

@cazzie: Ah, gotcha.

josie's avatar

I would never do such a thing

SmashTheState's avatar

Urban agriculture is the future and you’d better get used to it. So much of the planet is now underneath asphalt in suburban sprawl that we’re running out of farmland. What happens is, as farmland gets rarer, it becomes more and more expensive, which makes it attractive to land speculators. They “flip” the land to each other over and over, turning a profit each time, until the land is so expensive that the only way to make money is to build an overpriced suburban development on top of it. What this means is all the best farmland is already gone and they’re working on the rest.

In the future, assuming that our species survives, survival will depend on finding ways to grow our food on rooftops, in backyards, and in “waste” land. This includes beekeeping. Urban beekeeping is growing in popularity. Since honey is highly processed by the bees and contains potent antibiotics (4000 year old honey from ancient Egyptian tombs has been found still edible), it’s not going to be any more polluted than the water which comes out of your tap, which likely contains all the same contaminants and for the same reasons. What you’re tasting is probably the unfamiliar admixture of random flower pollen. Commercial honey usually comes from a single flower crop type. Urban honey will come from whatever random flowers happen to be nearby, from dandelions to rose bushes.

cazzie's avatar

@SmashTheState I don’t live in a place even remotely resembling that. The bees are some 40 miles away in the city. I’m out in the country with a fjord and woods and fields all around. I read this article about city honey……/a-secret-downside-of-th…/68100/ and how the bees are also eating asphalt when they can’t find the waxes they need for their propolis.

There are plenty of bee and honey producers out here in the country, and I think I’ll stick to those.

snowberry's avatar

@cazzie I couldn’t open your link but I found a very interesting article of my own.

It says that bees will eat all sorts of things, including sawdust and corn syrup. When they raid a humming bird feeder the honey turns bright red. (And other even more bizarre stories.)

SmashTheState's avatar

@cazzie Considering all the ethyl-methyl-badshit you eat daily in your food and ingest in your drinking water and inhale from every nearby automobile, factory, and city, a few ununual substances in your honey won’t kill you. It might make for an unusual flavour, but if it was dangerous it would be killing the bees long before it killed you.

cazzie's avatar

@SmashTheState I know it won’t kill me, but thankfully, I have a choice. My choice is the throw away the urban shit and eat the country shit instead.

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