Madeleine Lavin's research poster

The Ethics of Honey Production in Canada: A Political-Ecological Analysis (abstract)

Madeleine Lavin

Abstract


This research paper presents a critique of conventional honey production methods used in Canada by examining the ways in which these practices contribute to four problems related to honey bee health and four considerations related to the economic well-being of beekeepers. Using a political-ecological approach rooted in agricultural ethics, three methods of ecological honey production—Canadian Organic Standard, Local Food Plus Honey Protocol, and Demeter Biodynamic Standards—are compared against the conventional methods in a comparative analysis related to honey bee health and beekeeper economic considerations. Using the framework for transitioning to sustainable agriculture developed by Hill and MacRae (1995), the ecological production methods are ranked according to the three stages of production outlined in the framework: efficiency, substitution, and redesign. The paper concludes with a discussion of redesign approaches and explores the potential for improvement in addressing the particularities of ecological honey production in the Canadian context.

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