A study released on Monday shows that cheaper honey substitutes such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar (made from genetically modified sugar beets) are contributing to massive bee death via Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) by depriving bees of crucial nutrients, which weakens their immune systems.
Sadly, U.S. bee keepers were devastated by the loss of nearly one-third of their cross-pollinating, food co-creator colonies this past winter alone. That finding is close to the yearly average decline over the past six years, making the cumulative data a great concern for the species and crops. Scientists still like to play it safe and say the decline that’s damaging the food supply is largely unexplained, but neonicotinoid pesticides have one of the biggest roles in the loss. And, they have everything to do with why HFCS fed to bees is further killing them.
The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses.
The honey that feeds the bees is harvested to sell – that’s why cheaper substitutes are fed to the bees. Bees that feed on HFCS, sugar, AND pollen are showing the same type of demise. Neonicotinoid pesticides are used systemically – meaning they are applied on the seed itself and during other growing cycles. This is how the residue ends up in the pollen, and after processing for HFCS made from heavily doused genetically modified corn and also from sugar. It also gets in the soil and rain water (see video below).
But it’s a catch-22 here. Does the malnutrition lead to a weakened ability to withstand pesticide residues, or do the pesticide residues found in HFCS and sugar further weaken their immune systems making them susceptible to parasites and disease?
Similarly, a different study in April recreated HFCS feedings; and, thus, recreated CCD showing that the pesticides are present in the final food product for bees – HFCS.
We tried to mimic commercial beekeepers’ practices. I believe one reason that commercial beekeepers are experiencing the most severe colony collapse disorder is because of the link between high-fructose corn syrup and neonicotinoids.
A 2009 Italian study showed that neonicotinoid treated corn plants could kill bees just by them drinking water droplets off the plant. They died in 25 minutes.
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The EU recently passed a 2-year ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and the EPA is being sued. It won’t be long before there’s a big ho-down here with such a bee loss in the U.S. even leading to crop loss and implicated in higher food prices. Corporations, biotech companies, and researchers have anticipated profiting from this loss by already releasing robo bee robotic pollinators. Bayer and Syngenta are flippant by denying any harm, but then offering to plant more flowers near sprayed fields for “help.” They and Monsanto are offering to do more research….
Each time regulators buy into negotiation tactics when chemical makers promise safer products that still kill the co-creators of our food – they are playing right into an abusive relationship where more than just bee health is at stake. We and the farmers are getting the black eyes, and flowers and research gifts won’t do it anymore.
Farmers are struggling with potential loss of their go-to pesticides and no viable alternatives for large-scale farming – but are also contending with having to shell out big bucks for extra pollination help.
The proliferation of HFCS in our food supply is implicated in obesity rate explosions. Three theories come to mind; and it’s possible they could all be true and that there are more.
- What HFCS does to the liver damages its ability to process fat, plus Americans are eating fake, hydrogenated vegetable oil fats often right along with HFCS.
- The high concentration and processing of HFCS sets off an unfortunate pancreatic and insulin reaction leading to bigger fat stores – see the book The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet.
- The chemical and pesticide residue, combined with the genetic modification (implicated in Leaky Gut syndrome and immune system issues), hurts digestion and causes certain body types to store more fat to protect from damaging toxins. Malnutrition also leads to obesity, immune disorders and early death, as it also leads to health issues in bees.
And, pesticides are now linked to human cancer rates – again.
While we are losing our bees, and our food supply, are we also being primed for Human Colony Collapse Disorder?
Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.