Maraschino Cherry Bees

Last week, I linked to the story about the bees producing red honey because the were gathering syrup from a Maraschino Cherry Factory--bees going for high fructose corn syrup, go figure.

There's an article over at The Grist about one of their writers went for a blind honey taste test to see if she could taste the difference between various honeys, including corn syrup honey.  Turns out, it was not as flavorful as some of the other honeys she tried.

It makes me wonder if urban bees will find other ways to access corn syrup and would people notice?  This one was discovered because the bees brought back red dye with them.  But what if some other candy factory out there doesn't have dyes?  Or will some crazy person out there think, "You know what, we can totally market this!  What if we put out vats of corn syrup with blue dye and we get bees to make Smurf Honey?"  Jokes have been made that the red honey looks like the beekeepers have vampire bees or zombie bees and I wonder if someone out there will find a market for blood red cherry honey?

As I was pondering this, I found another article from The Grist about the Maraschino Cherry Factory's response to the bees using their syrup.  The owner of the factory, Arthur Mondello did offer to provide different shades of syrup so that the bees could make rainbow-hued honey.  The beekeeper response was not favorable to that idea--that's not "true" honey and quite frankly, initial taste tests show that it's not that tasty anyway.

According to the story, Mondello is ready to go the extra mile and do what he can to prevent bees from harvesting the syrup.  The Grist reported that the problem is that cherry syrup spills when vats are moved around.  Once bees discovered the ample syrup supply, they soon found ways of bypassing the shrink wrap that covered the vats as well.  So, Mondello is looking into several options to block the bees, including covering the vats with vinegar soaked fabric to mask the sweet aroma.

It's an interesting series of articles, definitely check them out at The Grist.