Although many people eat real honey, many others don’t, due to concern that some commercial beehives smoke out the queen, resulting in bees dying each harvest. Some hives use sugar to replace the honey for bees,. One worker bee makes just a spoonful of honey in its 60-day life.
If you eat real honey, only choose local sustainable suppliers that don’t smoke out bees after harvest, as this sometimes kills the Queen, and never feed honey to babies (or pets), as it can cause botulism. Save honey (in moderation) for dog biscuits, not neat.
Plant-based alternatives to honey are made with fruit, agave nectar or brown rice syrup. Some foods (avocados, almonds, melon, kiwi & butternut squash) can use ‘migratory bee-keeping’ which leaves bees to starve, after harvest. So choose suppliers that don’t do this: The Conversation.
- Plant-Based Artisan makes several versions of bee-less vegan honey, ideal on sourdough or crumpets, with a hint of hint of umami to delight the palate. A sweet yet savoury profile, also available in orange blossom and lavender versions.
- Bnutz Beefree Honei (Surrey) is a distinctive vegan honey alternative, made with apple juice, cocoa butter and inulin powder. Use for marinades, sauces or general baking. Bnutz are premium nut butters
- Northern Pantry (is made from Cheshire apples and infused with edible flowers. 10p from the sale of each jar goes to Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Do not refrigerate (if clouding appears, heat gently). Also in citrus twist and pear punch alternatives.
- Bee Approved offers an organic honey alternative made with brown rice. It has the same texture and flavour, ideal for drinks, sauces and desserts.
- MeliBio looks and tastes like bee-made honey, but is made from natural plant ingredients. Just use like-for-like. If bees die, the surface of Earth would look like Mars, so we need to save all 20,000 wild and native species.
- The Vegan Honey is made from fruits, and has a good article on why to use vegan honey. You may not know that in conventional harvesting of honey, the bees may be killed or their hive burned or drowned, some are even put in plastic bags to suffocate, though of course this does not happen with most commercial hives.
- Watson’s Vegan Honey is made with rose and chamomile. This light floral syrup is perfect for tea, on a cheese board or serve in a sandwich with their walnut Camemberti (vegan) cheese.
Make Your Own (vegan) Honey
Vegan Honey from Dandelions (Carlo Cao) is a unique recipe by a super-talented chef, who wanted to make a vegan honey that everyone can afford. You can buy good artisan vegan honeys, but they tend to be very expensive. Just ensure the dandelions you collect are not covered with pesticides or dog pee! You’ll need 2 days to make this recipe, as it involves steeping the flowers, then simmering on low heat to make it thick, like real honey.