A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found a possible link between the practice of feeding commercial honeybees high-fructose corn syrup and the collapse of honeybee colonies around the world. The study was published by a team of entomologists at the University of Illinois.The team outlines their research and findings in a paper they’ve had published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The report states that commercial aviaries began feeding honeybees high-fructose corn syrup back in the 70′s after research was conducted that indicated that doing so was safe. Since that time, new pesticides and transgenic BT crops have been developed and put into use. Over time it appears the honeybees’ immunity response to such compounds may have become compromised.
Researchers indicate that when honeybees eat high fructose corn syrup instead of honey they are not being exposed to certain chemicals that help boost their immune system and allow them to fight off toxins, specifically those found in pesticides.
The enzyme P-coumaric is found in pollen walls. P-coumaric naturally detoxifies the honeybees and allows them to fight off pesticides meant for other insects.
This news comes days after the European Union announced that they would be initiating a ban on the pesticide group, Neonicotinoids. The EU commission may now put into effect a two year restriction on neonicotinoids found in pesticides. In Canada, government scientists have found evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides were linked to mass bee deaths during the spring corn planting in Ontario and Quebec in 2012, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency confirmed in a report and have initiatiated a re-evaluation. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected petitions to halt the use of the world’s most widely used insecticide citing the petition failed to make a case for imminent harm.
Canadian government sciA number of studies have linked this group of pesticides to bee colony collapse disorder. The US and Canada continues to endorse it’s use.