Jack Berry

Vegan Honey Alternatives

No Bee Vegan Honee® is a honey alternative ‘made by humans for humans’. It resembles natural honey in taste, scent and liquidity. Our No Bee Vegan Honee® is registered with the Vegan Society UK.

Vegans choose not to consume any foodstuffs made from or by animals. Honey falls into this category, being made by Bees. Honey alternatives are made by humans and follow a similar process to that used by bees. All natural, and all-Vegan!

Is Honey Vegan?

This is a big question in Vegan circles! The Vegan Society states…

Honey is probably the product most frequently mistaken as vegan-friendly. There is a common misconception that honey bees make their honey especially for us, but this couldn’t be much further from the truth.

Honey is made by bees for bees, and their health can be sacrificed when it is harvested by humans. Importantly, harvesting honey does not correlate with The Vegan Society’s definition of veganism, which seeks to exclude not just cruelty, but exploitation.

What is Honey?

Honey is the energy source of the 7 species of bee known as ‘honey bees’. Without it, they starve, as it provides essential nutrients during poorer weather and the winter months.

A single honey bee collects nectar from up to 1500 flowers each day. They store this in their ‘honey stomach’ in which enzymes begin to break it down. On returning to the hive, it is regurgitated and chewed by ‘worker bees’ to complete the natural honey-making process. Each bee will only produce a fraction of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, far less than we would expect!

Honey’s popularity shows no sign of slowing. The honey industry, like many other commercial industries, is profit-driven where the welfare of the bees is often secondary to commercial gain.

Environmental Effects

Mass breeding of honeybees affects the populations of other competing nectar-foraging insects, including other bees. Overwhelmed by the ever-inflating quantities of farmed bees, the numbers of native bumblebees have declined.

The importing of honey into the UK also increases our carbon footprint through the emissions associated with transport. Of the honey consumed in the UK, 95% of it is imported, mostly from China and Turkey.

Unethical practices

Conventional beekeepers aim to harvest the maximum amount of honey, with high honey yields being viewed as a mark of success. When farmers remove honey from a hive, they replace it with a sugar substitute which is significantly worse for the bees’ health since it lacks the essential micro-nutrients of honey.

In conventional beekeeping, honey bees are specifically bred to increase productivity. This selective breeding narrows the population gene pool and increases susceptibility to disease and large-scale die-offs. Diseases are also caused by importing different species of bees for use in hives.

These diseases are then spread to the thousands of other pollinators we and other animals rely on, disputing the common myth that honey production is good for our environment.

In addition, hives can be culled post-harvest to keep farmer costs down. Queen bees often have their wings clipped by beekeepers to prevent them from leaving the hive to produce a new colony elsewhere, which would decrease productivity and lessen profit.

Vegan Honey Alternatives

Unlike bees, humans can thrive without honey in their diets. Luckily, there are a whole host of readily available vegan alternatives for those with a sweet tooth. NO-BEE Vegan Honee, date syrup, maple syrup, molasses, butterscotch syrup, golden syrup and agave nectar are all viable options, whether you need a product for baking, cooking, as a sweetener for drinks, or to eat a spoon out of the jar at the end of a long day.

If you wish to support bees, please do not buy beeswax or honey, consider donating to a suitable conservation charity instead.