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RIBEAUVILLE, France — Bees in a northeastern French city in the Alsace region have started to produce blue and green honey, and beekeepers believe it is due to the bees' consumption of M&Ms residue.
Ribeauville beekeepers first noticed the unnatural blue and green hues in August, and eventually found that a bio-gas plant 2.5 miles away had been processing waste from a Mars plant producing M&Ms.
The discolored honey is unsellable despite tasting like honey, according to beekeepers, who are already facing problems with high bee mortality rates and shrinking honey supplies following an unusually cold winter.
"For me, it's not honey. It's not sellable," Alain Frieh, president of the apiculturists' union, told Reuters.
The bees are believed to have made their way to the bio-gas plant from nearby fields, consuming residue from containers rather than pollinating flowers. The plant's managers told France 24 they had cleaned the plant's containers and that future Mars waste would be kept in a separate, covered hall.
France is one of the top European Union producers of honey, with around 2,400 beekeepers in the Alsace region alone producing about 1,000 tons of honey per year, according to the Alsace chamber of agriculture.