Bees Have a Different Concept of “Local Food” Than Humans Do

The New York Times reports that honeybees in Governor’s Island and Red Hook, Brooklyn, have been snubbing natural plant nectars to load up on syrup at a local maraschino cherry factory:

A fellow beekeeper sent samples of the sticky stuff to an apiculturalist, a kind of forensic foodie, who works for New York State, and he found the samples riddled with Red Dye No. 40, the same dye used in the maraschino cherry juice. Neighbors of the Dell’s factory, Ms. Mayo said, reported that bees in unusually high numbers were gathering nearby. And she learned that Arthur Mondella, the owner of the factory, had hired Andrew Coté, the leader of the New York City Beekeepers Association, to help find a solution. 

The result of their foraging was honeycombs filled with “a red concoction that tasted metallic and then overly sweet.” Overly sweet if you’re a persnickety human, anyway. The bees seem to like it just fine.