x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Bees got the blues

Blue honey? Mother Nature seems to be sending us a warning.

Nature has always been a great teacher. But as humanity has become less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the natural environment, has nature started to adapt to us?

If so, the results are not always ideal. Consider the bees in France's Alsace region, for instance, that have been found producing honey in unnatural hues of green and blue.

Where do these alarming colours come from? The trail led to a biogas plant close to their apiaries, according to a report by the BBC.

There, as it turns out, the bees have been feeding on the sugary waste left over from production of M&Ms, those small chocolate sweets in brightly coloured shells. "Bees are clever enough to know where the best sources of sugar are," says a spokeswoman for the British Beekeepers' Association.

The biogas company, which handles waste from a Mars chocolate factory, says it will clean out its containers and begin to store all incoming waste in airtight ones.

The beekeepers say this particular honey is unsalable. This is not a consideration that would bother the bees, but there's a lesson here: what we do to nature, nature is more than willing to do to us.