Today is a big day for Vegan Chickpea! I get to come out from behind the blog and camera to shed light on issues that are near and dear to my heart, that represent why I got into blogging in the first place. My goal is to spread awareness around sustainability, health and wellness, so that we’re all empowered to make choices for ourselves and our families that feel aligned with our values.
With that, I ask that – no matter your current opinion of bees, honey, veganism, etc. – that you open your mind as you read this post and watch the video below, because you just may be surprised at what you discover!
MEETING KEVIN FROM BEE BOYS
Since going vegan a couple years ago, I wanted to learn more about how honey is created. I know honey isn’t vegan since it’s an insect by-product, but felt curious as to why some vegans were proponents of consuming raw, local, sustainably raised honey. What does sustainable honey mean, and how does it serve rather than exploit the bees?
I was sharing this curiosity with my brother David one day in Hawaii at a local coffee shop we stumbled into during a drive near the most southern point of the USA, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Next to the cash register was a yummy looking granola bar, locally made by a company called Bee Boys. The bar had honey in it so I was sharing with David about my desire to learn more about honey production.
Lo and behold, one of the cofounders of Bee Boys named Kevin was actually standing behind us in line! Talk about divine timing. Long story short, we got to talking and I asked him if he’d be willing to do an interview for Vegan Chickpea, sharing about his views on veganism and what it means to produce sustainable honey. He happily said yes, as it lines up with Bee Boys’ mission to spread education and knowledge on this topic. So, I put on my investigative reporter hat and reached out to an active vegan Facebook group I’m in to ask them their big questions about this topic. Thank you to those of you who contributed to this conversation on Facebook!
A couple weeks later, I went out to Kevin’s beautiful land (pictured above) in the Waiohinu Valley. He lives off the grid in a modest home he built, surrounded by trees, flowers, plants and – of course – bees, in a serene place that feels like a magical garden. He considers himself a proud protector and steward of the bees, insisting that Bee Boys never “puts money before honey.”
If you’re not familiar with the standard honey production practices, I’ve provided some links in the next section about how honey is harvested, and Kevin also mentions some of these points in the video below.