Safer Farms Sting Chinese Beekeepers

Cleaning up honey industry means facing swarms of opposition
By Sarah Seltzer,  Newser User
Posted May 3, 2007 5:01 PM CDT
Sun Baoli with the plastic containers he hopes will revolutionize China's beekeeping trade.
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Stung by recent scandals over tainted food exports, a small group of Chinese beekeepers is trying to sweeten up local honey production. They're throwing out standard practices, like using antibiotics to treat their colonies, and pushing natural options. But the old guard is using violence in its attempts to prevent change and has even physically attacked high-end competitors.

Officials hope that the new honey will be a model of clean food production for export. But most farmers aren't looking to raise their standards—they just want to avoid competition. Says Sun Baoli, who was beaten by 15 other beekeepers after starting a clean honey farm, "It's going to take some time."