Almonds, avocados and bees

Honey bee

Vegans don’t eat honey because it’s not ours to take, bees make it to feed themselves during the winter. While almonds and avocados are plant foods and are therefore considered vegan, there is an ethical issue linking these foods with bees.

In some countries, the US in particular, commercially farmed honeybees are transported across the country in their hives, loaded up on trucks, to pollinate huge monocultures of almonds and other crops that are simply far too big for native bees and other pollinators to cope with.

They face a lethal combination of stressors including parasites, mites, pathogens, disease, a lack of healthy and diverse pollen resources and exposure to bee-toxic pesticides. These commercial honeybees have little status and are considered ‘livestock’ because of their use in food production and suffer the same mistreatment as other farmed animals.

This results in the deaths of billions of these bees and has a negative impact on native populations. For this reason, vegans have been criticised as being hypocritical because we aim to minimise animal exploitation wherever possible yet many of us continue to drink almond milk or buy avocados. Part of this may simply be a lack of awareness so we have researched the issue and published an extended blog on the subject of almonds, avocados and the plight of the honeybee and what you can do to minimise your impact – it’s not all bad news!

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