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Looks like HFCS is bad for bees, too.

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  • Looks like HFCS is bad for bees, too.

    Colony Collapse Disorder and Pesticides : The New Yorker

    Silent Hives.

    In 2006, when beekeepers began to report that their hives were suffering from a mysterious affliction, a wide variety of theories were offered to explain what was going on. The bees were suffering from a virus, or a fungus, or a mite, or from stress, or, according to one much publicized hypothesis, they were being addled by cell-phone signals.

    In another study...seemingly healthy honey colonies were fed high-fructose corn syrup that had been treated with imidacloprid. Within six months, fifteen out of the sixteen hives that had been given the treated syrup were dead. In commercial beekeeping operations, bees are routinely fed corn syrup, and corn is routinely treated with neonicotinoids.
    Of course, it's not so much the HCFS, as it is the neonicontinoid pesticides used on the corn that is made into HCFS.

  • #2
    Interesting. My pet theory is a genetic collapse brought on by the varoa mite. Normally you would expect the varoa mite to wipe out most bees, but some to become resistant and for the world bee population to be rebuilt from there. But they use a chemical to treat the varoa mite in domesticated hives, so the big die off never comes.

    But... The wild bees have been totally wiped out. I think this is because of the anti-varoa mite medication. No domesticated colony becomes immune, because they are all treated anyway, so there is no genetic advantage for a resistant domestic bees. When they swarm and go wild, they all eventually die because they don't get their anti-veroa medication any more.

    If a wild bee colony became immune, the queen would still meet and breed with drones from swarmed domesticated runaway bees. So genetically the immune bees would always get overwhelmed by the medication-dependent bees, because these days there are millions of times more domesticated bees than wild ones (due to the varoa mite).

    So it is a catch 22 for bees. Without the genetic mixing with wild bee populations, the domesticated breeds are becoming less viable, with weak traits dominating. That makes them prone to dying off.

    Feeding bees with HFCS is disgraceful. Anyone doing that deserves to lose their hive. No doubt they can still sell such honey as "organic".