The French beekeepers and the mystery of the blue honey
Beekeepers in northeastern France are all abuzz after their bees started producing blue honey.
Since August beekeepers in the town of Ribeauville have witnessed their bees returning to the cluster of apiaries carrying unusually colorful substances - which turned their honey into unnatural colours.
But now the mystery has been solved.
It appears the enterprising bees have been eating the waste from a nearby biogas plant that has been processing the waste produced in the making of M&Ms.
Mars operates a chocolate factory near Strasbourg, around 100 km (62 miles) away from the affected apiaries.
The discovery was made after the beekeepers became determined to find the source of the blue honey.
The biogas plant has been processing waste from a plant run by the Mars company that makes the brightly coloured M&M chocolates.
The operator of the plant, Agrivalor, told the BBC: We discovered the problem at the same time [the beekeepers] did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it.“
The company subsequently published a statement in the French paper Le Monde saying it would store all waste from the Mars factory in airtight containers, and process it promptly.
The honey, which is unsellable, is likely to produce more problems for the beekeepers following a harsh winter and the continually rising bee mortality rates.
Bee numbers have been in steady decline of late and the government in France has banned one pesticide linked to the high mortality rates.
There are around 2,400 beekeepers in the Alsace region, who reportedly tend to some 35,000 colonies and produce around 1,000 tonnes of honey a year.
France is one of the largest producers of honey in Europe, producing some 18,330 tonnes annually.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gay couple buy JebBushForPresident.com web domain, and refuse to sell
16 Waitrose customers who could not cope with the end of free coffee
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...