Well…I for one never even considered it could be done without our little friends…better yet should it? MeliBio’s honey production, minus the bee, will have you buzzing – TechCrunch
How can anything be called “honey” if it’s not produced by honeybees.
Or milk with out mammals or meat with out animal protein…
I know how I feel. It’s pure nonsense.
They even have the cheek to say that American companies who import honey would prefer to but their product because otherwise there is a risk that they might import fake honey!!
I presume they are hoping to raise funds from investment companies who want to push ‘green’ start-ups to naive investors.
I’m not sure about US law but in Europe honey, by definition, must be produced by bees.
About the nonsense. From their website:
I think when they say ‘plant-based honey,’ the ‘plant’ refers to sugar cane
Sure. Sugar cane, sugar bit, etc. I am more about referring to crop pollination and saving “us” by getting rid of bees.
I don’t see the connection here…If beekeeping is harmful for native bees, you can always create “free zone for native bees”, by restricting the number/presence of apiaries in those specific areas…I see here just a mere business opportunity peeking at an healthy market…shaving just the difficult part of the honey production process …beekeeping!!!
100% agree with JimM about the definition of honey by EU law. As a side note here’s the FDA definition:
FDA defines honey as, “ a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store in honeycombs .”
In thinking about this further…
A. Will this help of hurt pollination? .Not sure about this one TBH. Interesting to think about.
B. Is this cheaper? One would think so…but again interesting to consider.
C. Is it fundamentally the same? In other words chemically speaking can you produce ‘honey’ in a lab.
If production will reach the level where traditional honey producers will start to close businesses, yes, it will heart agricultural pollination. Pollination services alone will not be able to sustain beekeepers.
Reliance on wild pollinators never worked before. Even in areas where Apis mellifera is a native bee among others, one still needs to bring hives into the orchard, field or glasshouse. Wild pollinators cannot provide the required saturation to achieve desirable results.
Probably it will be cheaper to produce. Inverted sugar syrup, the bulk component, is already several times cheaper than honey. I don’t know the prices for all other components, but they will be needed in small quantities. And we are talking about close chemical analogue. But they always can skimp on a few “non-essentials”, eh?
The question is, will it be cheaper to buy eventually?
I will give an example. The region I lived in was producing quite a wide range of vegetables. Tomatoes were among them. Good variety and fantastic quality. Juicy, tasty, aromatic. Two problems - they were too gentle for machine harvesting and couldn’t be stored for a prolonged period of time. A week and they started to rot. All this means - rather expensive. In the early 90’s, after opening the border with neighbouring China import of cheap machine-harvested tomatoes began. Imported ones were approximately twice cheaper in retail. Yes, they were barely edible when compared to local - tough, almost no taste or aroma. But times were tough too and people were buying cheaper stuff. It took 4 or 5 years before locally produced tomatoes disappeared completely. After that, the price of imported tomatoes jumped up to the level the local tomatoes were sold at before. The local tomato producers have never recovered.
You can buy pure maple syrup, which is quite expensive, or you can buy inexpensive maple flavored syrup. However maple flavored syrup is no substitute for the real thing. @chau06 would vouch for that.
I doubt if you could ever bypass Maple trees in order to produce pure maple syrup.
Even though they would both be difficult, I would guess that maple syrup is easier to produce in a lab than honey - it comes from mainly one species of tree, unlike the multitude of flowers that the bees gather from.
However, fewer people have probably had real maple syrup than have had real honey, even if both are mostly mass produced and blended for consistency.
Amazing how sensitive people are to the homogeneity of their produce - what is wrong with varied shades of honey and syrup? Or apples, or bananas, or most produce? We’ve brainwashed ourselves to prefer, or at least not be able to distinguish, fake over real, natural, even hand made. And as such, we’re vulnerable to liking heavily processed foods.