Save the bees has been a popular environmentalist cry for quite a few years now, though many still seem confused on how the consumption of honey plays into the harming of these adorable buzzing creatures. A common misconception of honey is that it is a natural byproduct of bees and thus the process of harvesting isn’t harmful. However, as we know with the dairy industry, the truth is never so simple and innocent.

Among some of the most common practices of honey harvesting include clipping the queen bee’s wings to prevent her from fleeing the hive. This mutilation is stressful for the queen and her hive. Similarly, like in the dairy industry, these queen bees are often instrumentally inseminated in a process that involves crushing drone bees and extracting their semen. Disturbing, right?

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Once the bees produce honey, the beekeepers take away the product of their labor and replace it with sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. These sugars are given to the hive so they don’t starve during the colder months, but they lack the crucial nutrients found in honey. Studies have shown that these artificial sweeteners can harm the bee’s immune systems and increase their susceptibility to pesticides.

These unethical practices have far-reaching implications that go beyond the commercial hive itself. Through the frequent trading of honeybees, diseases and parasites can spread rapidly and affect populations of wild bees. Likewise, millions of queen bees are bred commercially from just a few queens. This lack of genetic diversity has been hypothesized to be a significant cause of declining honeybee populations, due to decreased resilience to pathogens and parasites.

While honey has a distinctive taste and texture that many have come to love, the continued consumption of this sweetener is no longer justifiable.

1. Date Lady Date Syrup

Date Lady Date Syrup

Source: Date Lady Date Syrup

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Veteran vegans understand the power and importance of dates. Known for their natural sweetness and fiber, dates are a staple in any vegan’s pantry. The minds behind Date Lady have harnessed the delicious flavor of dates and turned it into a sweet syrup, perfect for replacing honey. You can squeeze this syrup on anything, like waffles, ice cream, or vegan brie. This Date Lady Date Syrup provides the perfect punch of sweetness, all made from just one simple ingredient: dates! You can buy it for $21.99.

2. Blenditup Bee Free Vegan Honey

Blenditup Bee Free Vegan Honey

Source: Blenditup Bee Free Vegan Honey

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This Keystone Pantry Organic Brown Rice Syrup is primarily made from apples! Many reviews note this product’s subtle appley flavor, however, the fruity notes bring a layer of dimension to the flavor and pairs well with a variety of foods including vegan cheeses. You can buy it for $19.99.

3. Keystone Pantry Organic Brown Rice Syrup

Keystone Pantry Organic Brown Rice Syrup

Source: Keystone Pantry Organic Brown Rice Syrup

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While ‘brown rice’ might not immediately elicit saccharine associations, this Organic Brown Rice Syrup shows how this hearty grain can actually be used as a sweetener! Made from just brown rice, this product is both vegan and gluten-free. Though this product is great for sweetening recipes, unlike honey, it has no particular flavor of its own, so keep that in mind when determining what you are looking for in a honey replacement! You can buy it for $14.55.

4. Yacona Natural Yacon Syrup

Yacona Natural Yacon Sweetener

Source: Yacona Natural Yacon Syrup

This Yacona Natural Yacon Sweetener is made from 100% pure, yacon syrup. Not only is yacon a great sweetener, but it’s also high in fiber and promotes healthy digestion. Yacona Natural describes their original flavor as “similar to maple syrup with hints of honey, caramel, apple, and tea” – sounds delicious! You can buy it for $16.99.

5. Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar

Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar

Source: Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar

What’s so special about Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar is that it’s nutrient-dense, containing 17 amino acids as well as a variety of other vitamins and minerals. Likewise, because it’s made from tree sap and not the coconuts themselves, there is no coconut flavor, making this a neutral and versatile sweetener. You can buy it for $21.48.

6. D’vash Organic Date Syrup

D'vash Organic Date Syrup

Source: D’vash Organic Date Syrup

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This D’Vash Organic Date Syrup also utilizes the natural sweetness of dates to create a delicious honey alternative with no added sugars needed! This single-ingredient syrup is low glycemic, which is perfect for anyone who has diabetes. Reviewers rave D’Vash Date Syrup’s rich taste and great consistency. You can buy it for $8.57.

7. Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Honey Substitute

Nature's Hollow Sugar-Free Honey Substitute

Source: Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Honey Substitute

This Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Honey Substitute is another great low glycemic substitute. This honey alternative is made from Xylitol which is a natural sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables. You can buy it for $22.99.

8. Organic Harmless Hunny by Pyure

Organic Harmless Hunny by Pyure

Source: Pyure’s Harmless Honey by Pyure

Pyure’s Harmless Honey by Pyure is advertised as having the “rich taste and thick texture” of honey. While reviewers say the sweetener is a bit thinner than raw grade honey, the overall positive reviews show that this imaginative honey alternative is enough to satisfy one’s honey cravings. You can buy it for $8.99.

9. Soviia Organic Coconut Agave Syrup

Soviia Organic Coconut Agave Syrup

Source: Soviia Organic Coconut Agave Syrup

This Soviia Organic Coconut Agave Syrup is just one of Soviia’s many flavors and varieties. In addition to creating a delicious honey alternative, Soviia prioritizes sustainability by planting two agave plants in place of every single agave plant they harvest. Similarly, to reduce their carbon footprint, their facility uses solar-power and reuses water. You can buy it for $6.99.

10. Llinea Monk Fruit

Llinea Monk Fruit

Source: Llinea Monk Fruit 

Don’t be deceived by the small container this Llinea Monk Fruit sweetener comes in. This monk fruit juice extract is about 15-20 times sweeter than sugar, meaning you only need 6 drops to equal the sweetness of one teaspoon of sugar! This sweetener is especially great for on the go when you want to sweeten your coffee or tea. You can buy it for $12.49.

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