The vegan community has been debating the ethics of beekeeping for years. Some vegans call it a cruel practice, and others argue that when done right, the bees are not hurt at all, and there are many health benefits. Personally, I agree with the "beegans" a term coined for those vegan who choose to eat bee products. I agree the "factory farm" beekeeping is horrid, just like with the animals, but if you focus on family and local farms that use proper methods, I really don't see the issue. Here are some great articles that discuss this.
Can You Be a Vegan Beekeeper? http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/beekeeping-and-the-ethical-vegan--will-curley/
Six Reasons to Love Bees http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/01/six-reasons-to-love-bees--will-curley/
Defining Honey Bee's Superfoods http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/11/amazing-bee-products-that-cure-and-protect--paul-fassa/
Backyard Beekeeping http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/05/elesustainability-backyard-beekeeping-via-will-dart/