(NEW YORK) — French bees in the Alsace region of France have acquired a bad snacking habit, and it’s tainting their honey.
Better known for its white wine than its candy making, this northeastern region of France is home to 2,400 beekeepers and 35,000 colonies that produce roughly 1,000 tons of the sweet stuff per year, according to the region’s chamber of commerce.
But as the autumn harvest gets underway, bees hailing from the honey-haven town of Ribeauville have been producing honey in bizarre shades of green and blue, leaving French beekeepers mystified.
After several weeks of head-scratching, the town’s Union of Beekeepers think M&Ms, those colorful chocolate candies made by the American company Mars, are to blame. Not far from Ribeauville is a biogas plant processing waste from a Mars plant producing the treats.
According to the French newspaper Le Monde, the company said it will clean out the containers and store the waste in airtight containers, out of reach of hungry bees. Mars did not respond to ABC News when asked for comment.
Le Monde reports the colorful honey is not marketable and will not hit shelves this season.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN