Bees themselves are not kosher, but their honey is. The honey is taken from the hive. If I found a bunch of dead bees and I cut them open and extracted the honey from the body, can I eat this?

  • 3
    Honey is not found in the bees, but in the hive (Wikipedia article)
    – MTL
    May 29 '14 at 16:51
  • 1
    Bees do things with their bodies, but it's not honey really until after it sits in the honeycomb for a bit (other Wikipedia article)
    – MTL
    May 29 '14 at 16:52
  • Thanks for the Wikipedia links. Based on the explanation, my premise in my question is incorrect, and any substance inside the bee's body would not be edible, anyway. At the least, it is not considered honey.
    – DanF
    May 29 '14 at 17:37
  • My first comment may be the same as sabbahillel's answer, with a different source
    – MTL
    May 29 '14 at 18:41

The Encyclopedia Talmudis has a complete article on bee honey (under dvash) and why it is kosher. As part of the article it shows the difference between bee honey and milk of a nonkosher animal. While nectar is carried in the "honey stomach" of the bee to the hive, it is converted by "external" processing into honey. The article pointed to by @Shokhet shows that the nectar is mixed with saliva and regurgitated. It is not digested and absorbed into the body of the bee. Milk on the other hand is considered as if it is derived from the "blood" of the animal. That is by "internal" processing. It is created from the digested nutrients within the body of the animal.

As far as the particular question, honey is not found in the bodies of bees (unlike milk from cows) and therefore the question itself does not apply.

  • Where does it say that milk is akin to blood? May 30 '14 at 5:44
  • You are confusing honey with pollen: honey is regurgitated nectar while pollen is carried in pollen baskets. Both are kosher and different from milk since they are natural products that are merely transported by the bee whereas milk is a secretion.
    – Yoni
    May 30 '14 at 6:24
  • @Yoni I fixed the reference May 30 '14 at 9:33
  • Huh? how does this answer "Is honey extracted from a dead bee kosher?"? May 30 '14 at 12:49
  • @David Feigen Talmud Bechorot 6b as an example. A Deep Reason to Eat Cheesecake makes an indirect reference to it. It means something created within the body rather than external (blood carrying nutrients to the udder to make milk). May 30 '14 at 13:04

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