Chensheng Lu, an environmental scientist at Harvard and the lead author on the Bulletin of Insectology paper, was curious as to how the insecticide may be introduced into the colony, and decided to investigate high-fructose corn syrup, which for the past decade has been used by beekeepers to supplement hives that have been decanted of honey. Much of the US corn crop is treated with neonicotinoids, and so trace amounts of the insecticides can often be found in the sugary syrup.
Lu and colleagues designed an experiment that would expose hives to concentrations ranging from 20 to 400 parts per billion. Within 4 months, 15 of the 16 experimental hives had been emptied by what appeared to be CCD, according to the researchers.
As more studies are published on this subject, the link between neonicontinoids and CCD may become more apparent. In this case, Bayer AG could only be held indirectly accountable, as it is the beekeepers who are substituting the inexpensive syrup for bee honey, thereby introducing the pesticide."
Is corn syrup killing the honeybees?
By Trevor Quirk