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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVE NUTRITION FOR HONEY BEE COLONIES TO STIMULATE POPULATION GROWTH, INCREASE QUEEN QUALITY, AND REDUCE THE IMPACT OF VARROA MITES Title: Are agrochemicals present in high fructose corn syrup fed to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?

Authors
item Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria
item Sammataro, Diana
item Simonds, Roger -

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: August 23, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup to colonies to increase food reserves for overwintering and to stimulate brood rearing in the spring. Many agrochemicals including systemic neonicotinoids are applied to corn during cultivation. Whether neonicotinoids or other agrochemicals used in the production of corn crops are present in HFCS is unknown. Samples from the major manufacturers and distributors of HFCS fed to honey bees were analyzed for 174 different pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. None were found. Though honey bees often are exposed to pesticides, these chemicals do not enter colonies from feeding HFCS.

Technical Abstract: Honey bee colonies are commonly fed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a nectar substitute. Many agrochemicals are applied to corn during cultivation including systemic neonicotinoids. Whether agrochemicals are present in HFCS fed to bees is unknown. Samples from the major manufacturers and distributors of HFCS fed to honey bees were analyzed for 174 different pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. None were found. Though honey bees often are exposed to pesticides, these chemicals do not enter colonies from feeding HFCS.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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