NYC bees turn red from maraschino cherry juice

Brooklyn insects producing off-color honey were riddled with Red Dye No. 40 from nearby factory

By Associated Press
Published November 30, 2010 5:45PM (EST)

A bunch of Brooklyn bees have been coming home looking flushed.

New York City beekeeper Cerise Mayo was puzzled when her bees started showing up with mysterious red coloring. Their honey also turned as red as cough syrup. She tells The New York Times a friend joked that the bees were imbiding on the runoff at Dell's Maraschino Cherries Company, in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Mayo -- whose first name means "cherry" in French -- raises bees in that neighborhood and across the water on Governor's Island.

Tests confirmed the bees were riddled with Red Dye No. 40 -- the same food coloring found in the cherry juice. Bee expert Andrew Cote tells the newspaper that bees had been creating a big nuisance at the factory.

The solution? Put up screens or provide a closer source of sweet nectar.


Information from: The New York Times,


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