M&M candies come in every color of the rainbow – but what if honey came in the color of M&Ms? Distraught beekeepers in Northeastern France are facing just that conundrum, as honey from their apiaries has been turning up in shades of green and blue. After weeks of perplexing investigation, the farmers found the candy colored honey to be caused by waste from nearby Agrivalor biogas plant, which has been processing M&M’s waste.
The farmers in Ribeauville, Alsace are just 2.5 miles away from the biogas plant, a short jaunt for their bees to travel and pollinate before returning to the hive. In the past the biogas plant threatened no danger to their business, but since processing waste from the colorful shells of M&M’s, the beekeepers felt an immediate effect. Bees from around twelve apiaries have been returning to the hive with blue and green debris, which gets directly transferred to the honey they yield.
Honey appearing in colors other than amber is needless to say, unsellable. The murky blue and green sweet stuff isn’t being packaged as a new M&M flavor, but instead is being thrown in the trash. These beekeepers are already facing adversity, with increasing bee mortality rates killing off many of their producers they can’t afford to lose the honey they do make. Coupled with the effects of harsh winters, the apiaries are already in a jam.
Frances produces 18,330 tonnes of honey each year, being one of the world’s top producers. Agrivalor has been notified and has begun cleaning up the mess, but the beekeepers are still stuck with green honey.