Eli5 Why is it ok that bees are dwindling but I constantly see posts of people taking and eating their honey, don’t the bees need the honey for something? Isn’t it time we just left them alone?


As above says I subscribe to a lot of gardening groups and I see dozens of posts of people cutting into honey as self proclaimed ‘satisfying’ posts. Bees don’t eat honey I know but they make it for a reason right? They’re on the downward slope of endangerment and their lifespans are shrinking too.

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We only eat the honey of a very small subsection of bees.

Those domesticated types of bees produce a lot of honey. Way more than they actually need. The bee keepers “steal” their bees’ honey but the bees are overproducing so much, it doesn’t matter to them.

Also, even if you take too much honey from the bees, a bee keeper would simply give some honey back or give the bees sugar water.

Also: Domesticated honey bees aren’t really endangered at all. It’s only wild non-domesticated bees that have problems (which is bad because they have to pollinate flowers for us to live).

The type of bees that are endangered are not the same type of bees which are raised for honey. Not every species even produces honey. Only a very small number of bee species make any honey and only two make enough to harvest for human use

Some corrections needed here. Domesticated honey bees don’t make too much honey. They make honey to feed their hive and help it expand but the bee keeper puts a screen across half the hive so the queen can’t lay her eggs in one layer but the workers can build honey comb for her young and fill it with honey. This means that the bee keeper can take that honey knowing it won’t have any grubs in it who need the honey. Domesticated bees are at risk from viruses and parasites they are also worked too hard and there are grave risks to moving hives around to pollinate lots of crops in different time zones and then taking the honey and feeding bees substandard sugar water. Basically bees are exploited for greed and it’s killing entire colonies.

This does not take into account the extended use of pesticides which are known to kill bees but are perfectly legal in lots of places


Not a bee keeper but have worked with one and built the website for the regional bee keepers association.

People also help domesticated bees get ahead by providing them beeswax foundation sheets on the hive frames. So we cut out a step they would need to do which gives them more time to make honey. And most bee hives have super and brood compartments.

The brood compartments are reserved for the bees to raise new bees and consume for themselves, we do not take honey from these boxes since they would contain things like eggs and larva. The supers contain the extra honey.

The supers are separated from the brood by a screen large enough to allow worker bees to pass but too small for the queen bee to get through (that’s why there’s no eggs or larva in the cells around the honey we take).