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Is Corn Syrup Killing Bees?

Is Corn Syrup Killing Bees?


It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie — for the past 5 or so years, honeybee populations across the globe have been dying out, and scientists don’t really know why. That is, researchers hope, until now.

A pair of recent studies have pointed to pesticides as the main culprit for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the term scientists use for sudden declines in bee populations. So where are these pesticides coming from? Right inside the hive itself.

Beekeepers use high-fructose corn syrup to supplement hives decanted of honey; since a great deal of American-grown corn is sprayed with neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides, traceable amounts can often be found in the corn syrup.

A study published last month in the journal Science found that neonicotinoids interfere with honeybee’s ability to find their way home, thus disorienting them and likely contributing to CCD. The most recent study, led by Harvard biologist Chensheng Lu, had similar findings.

Neonicotinoids were only developed in the 1990′s, as an alternative to more harmful pesticides. Unlike their more toxic predecessors, these pesticides, are toxic during the entire growing season. CCD did not become a major issue until after neonicotinoids came into widespread use.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
5:08AM PDT on May 10, 2012

This dilemma is all on us.

1:27PM PDT on May 3, 2012

Thanks for the info.

7:40PM PDT on May 2, 2012


9:42AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Corn syrup in the HIVES? Bullshit! Doesn't anybody see the elephant in the room? Soooo... the TONS and TONS of pesticides SPRAYED from PLANES on the CROPS has nothing to do with this???? These are just more faked up "studies" ignoring the REAL PROBLEM so the PESTICIDE COMPANIES WON'T GET THEIR POISON BANNED. Big Tobacco has done the same thing for 100 years. 50 million people have been killed by smoking so far but tobacco STILL ISN'T BANNED. Do you know why? Because there isn't enough PROOF that it's HARMFUL!!!!! Hahahahahaha I'm starting to think Americans are
the stupidest people on earth. They trust Big Biz whose only goal is to make MONEY no matter HOW MANY PEOPLE THEY KILL! Everybody lays around, wrings their hands, prays and lets Big Biz POISON THEIR OWN CHILDREN!!! This is the same mind control Hitler had over the German people. Americans should be storming the capitol with torches

10:09PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Ispravak u komentaru za dan Planete Zemlje

Još uvijek je ljudsko neznanje o Zemlji veće od ljudskog znanja o Zemlji!

10:02PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Draga Stephanie i Genevieve,
Ne trebate biti pesimistične, problem je prepoznat. Na tome će sigurno humanisti, inovatori, znanstvenici... A, siguran sam i političari kad im se prezentira lanac smrti koji nastaje izumiranjem pčela.
Nikome pametnom nije stalo do toga da pčele nestanu, da žabe nestanu, pa ni komarci da nestanu putem insekticida...
Još uvijek je ljudsko neznanje o Zemlji veće od ljudskog neznanja.
Zbog toga sve što radimo treba raditi za dobro zdravlje naše Zemlje. Tada smo sigurni da ćemo i mi biti zdravi. Tada će i sav stvoreni svijet biti u svom poretku. Tada će društveni poredak biti zdrav i u ljudi u svih živih bića..
Za dan naše predivne Planete Zemlje želim vam optimizam i vjeru u bolje sutra, želim vam dobro zdravlje, mir i dobro a ujedno i svim ljudima i ljudskim sestricama pčelama...

7:19PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

good info now we need to be proactive and ban the pesticide and strongly encourage bee keepers to use organic corn syrup, or syrup that has been tested and proven clean.

9:22AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

I am a first year beekeeper and just just got my bees last week. They have no honey stores yet so they need to be feed a 1:1 sugar/water mix. I feed them the way way as I eat... filtered water and non gmo or organic sugar. once they bulid up honey supplies I will not take any until I am sure they have enought to make it thru the winter. We seriously need to start respecting nature and our earth. On a side note bee are amazing creatures to watch it like its own society. If you ever have thought about beeing a beekeeper ... my advise would be just do it you will not be sorry ...a well pollinated garden and honey is the way to go and you will be helping build the bee population back up.

7:04AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

Oh, that's just brilliant!! Spread insecticide on stuff which you will then introduce to insects! And no one stopped to think this might be a bad idea?? Honestly, sometimes I lose all hope for our survival as a species...

10:29PM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

Nestanak pčela sigurno znači i nestanak ljudske vrste. Nestanak pčela opasniji je od globalnog zatopljenja. Nestanak pčela proces je koji se može dogoditi u kraćem roku. I događa se... Samo se ne čuje zujanje ... ha, ha, ha reći će neki prepotentni homo politikus!
Oni koji danas upravljaju ljudskom vrstom nemaju senzibilitet čuti čovjeka a kamo li tamo neku pčelu, za ovaj problem ni ne znaju, ovaj problem vjerojatno podcjenjuju kao i štošta drugo.
A povezanost između života pčela i života ljudi, mnogi nisu sposobni razumjeti. Ne zamjerite im. Ta oni su samo vladari!
No, ipak bi ih trebalo educirati ... educirati ... i aducirati o onome što to znači- nestanak pčela!
Trebalo bi ovakve vijesti stalno slati na e-mail, svima koji se bave odlučivanjem o javnom dobru Zemlje!
Svima, od političara lokalne zajednice do predsjednika država.
Jednako u USA ili u Hrvatskoj ili ...
Pčele im newsletter razumljiv ljudskom razumu nemaju otkud poslati!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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