Why Are Bees Producing Blue Honey?

This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news.
Bees produced blue honey after eating discarded sugar from a nearby M&M; factory. 6493866629/Shutterstock

A popular post has Redditors buzzing about bees that produced blue honey, with each hole in the honeycomb filled in with what looks like a miniature universe, or as one commenter put it, the view from the International Space Station.

Beekeepers suspect the bees were feeding on sugar waste from a nearby candy factory that makes M&Ms.; But this isn't the first time we've seen the blue honey issue take flight.

In 2012, bees from a section of Alsace, France, made headlines for the unusual color of their honey. Instead of the normal golden yellow, the honey came in shades of blue, brown and green, according to a report from Reuters.

Apparently the tainted honey tastes fine, but apiarists say the unusual colors make it unsellable. Which is a problem for the 2,400 beekeepers who live in Alsace, a region that produces 1,000 metric tons of honey every year.

Beekeepers there point to a nearby biogas plant that processes the waste from a factory that makes M&M; candies. Mars, Inc., whose Strasbourg chocolate factory makes M&Ms; more than 60 miles away, had no comment.

But the company that operates the biogas plant said they put new procedures in place to clean containers and store incoming waste indoors to prevent hungry bees from dining on the sugary goodness.