The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Corn syrup kills bees

Graph of bee mortality when fed nydroxymethylfurfuralAlthough small backyard beekeepers like us traditionally feed bees a mixture of sugar and water when their colonies need help, commercial beekeepers largely use high fructose corn syrup.  The corn syrup is cheap and easy to get in the U.S...but now scientists are starting to suspect that feeding bees corn syrup could be one cause of colony collapse disorder.  Maybe that's why commerical operations seemed to be a lot harder hit than folks with one or two hives?

When heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, a substance called hydroxymethylfurfural is formed from high fructose corn syrup.  In the scientific article that the popular article linked to above is based on, nearly all bees fed hydroxymethylfurfural died within 25 days.

Even if you don't keep bees, you should be concerend about hydroxymethylfurfural.  Our much larger bodies probably aren't as easily affected by the chemical as bees are, but scientists are beginning to wonder if the high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks and other processed food may be bad for us.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I was reading about.. all the birds and fish that recently died in Ark. And through my searches came across that about the bees being feed surcrose and high f. corn syrup. I have found that soooooooo many people are alergic to it (including me) so it totally makes sense that they are killing the bees with that crap. In That huge article, that went on and on about issues with bees, it was never considered to be a possible problem. I dunno, I just wanted to talk with someone about it.. it is so upsetting.. tragic, really. thanks for letting me post. Liz in Key West Fl

Comment by Liz Mon Jan 3 15:41:11 2011

I read a fascinating report lately (which I can't remember the URL of or name to) that showed how pesticide companies have paid for many of the main studies into bee problems. Given that conflict of interests, it wouldn't shock me if pesticides are another major cause of the honeybee decline.

The good news, to me at least, is that if people are causing the honeybee problems on a local level, then individual beekeepers like us can prevent it in our own area by refusing to use pesticides and corn syrup. If we treat our bees well, they will treat us well.

Comment by anna Mon Jan 3 16:03:59 2011

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