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The Case of the Missing Bees: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Colony Collapse Disorder

Kaitlyn Sandifer, Monica Martinek, Grace Ma, Gabe Armijo, Saif Alfalasi, Saad Al-suwaidi

Grace Ma

on 2 January 2014

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Transcript of The Case of the Missing Bees: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Colony Collapse Disorder

Focus and Summary
General Overview of Genetic Transformation
Colony Collapse Disorder
and Possible Link to HFCS-55
What is HFCS-55?
The Case of the Missing Bees: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Colony Collapse Disorder
1. Lu, C., Warchol, K. M., & Callahan, R. A. (2012). In
Situ Replication of Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder. Bulletin of Insectology.
2. Thomas, P. (2007). Give bees a chance. Ecologist,
3. Lederberg, Joshua (1994). The Transformation of Genetics by
DNA: An Anniversary Celebration of AVERY, MACLEOD and MCCARTY(1944) in Anecdotal, Historical and Critical Commentaries on Genetics. The Rockfeller University, New York
4. Fall 2012 ASU Biology 181 lab manual (Lab 6-Bacteril
5. Dziuk, Ian. "Commercial v. Local Beekeeping." Personal
interview. 3 Dec. 2012.
6. "Michigan State University Native Plants and Ecosystem
Services." Pollination. Michigan State University, 1 Dec. 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2012.
HFCS-55 = High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS is produced using enzymes:
~alpha-amylase to break down cornstarch (a high molecular weight glucose polymer) into smaller 8-glucose unit fragments
~amyloglucosidase to break down into individual glucose molecules
~glucose isomerase to convert glucose molecules into fructose
Effects on Humans
Kaitlyn Sandifer
Monica Martinek
Grace Ma
Gabe Armijo
Saif Alfalasi
Saad AL-suwaidi
byKaitlyn SandiferMonica MartinekGrace MaGabe ArmijoSaif AlfalasiSaad AL-suwaidi
Link Between CCD and HFCS-55 Continued
citations: (Thomas 2007) & (Lu 2012)
CCD = phenomenon where worker bees abruptly disappear from the hive

Toxicity in the colony
- Imidacloprid in HFCS
Diets involving GM corn
Historical perspective:
Frederick Griffith 1928
1944 Oswald Avery
Involves uptake of foreign DNA
Replication within organism
Gene expression
* We concluded that feeding either 42 or 55% HFCS as carbohydrate supplements does not adversely affect honey bee colony performance (Severson, and Erickson, 1984)

* Fructosyl-fructoses were mainly detected in honeys from bees fed with HFCS, but not from those honeys coming from free-flying bees or bees fed with SS.(Ana, 2010)

Keystone species - necessary for pollination
Applications and Uses:
Health and Medicine
Industry and Environment
7. Ana. "Carbohydrate Composition of High-
Fructose Corn Syrups (HFCS) Used for Bee Feeding: Effect on Honey Composition." - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (ACS Publications). N.p., 21 May 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2012.
8. Hand, Becky. "The Truth about High Fructose
Corn Syrup." Sparkpeople. 4 Dec. 2012.
9. Bohlscheid, Jeffri C. "The Case of the Missing
Bees: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Colony Collapse Disorder." 28 Jan. 2011. 3 Dec. 2012.
10. Barker, R.; Lehner, Y., "Lab Comparison of High Fructose
Corn Syrup, Grape Syrup, Honey, and Sucrose Syrup as Maintenance Food for Caged Honey Bees." 1992.
11. Eggleston, B. "Toxicity of High Fructose Corn Syrup on
Indigenous Population of Honey Bees." 2009.
Introduction of foreign DNA:
By viruses: Transduction
Between bacteria: ConjugationIn
In mammalian cells: Transfection
citations: (3) and (4)
1/3 of the honeybees in North and South America and Europe have died for unknown reasons
The loss of bees has a vast impact on society because farmers depend on commercial beekeepers (Dziuk, 2012)
Two major changes in honeybees:
1/3 of the bee colonies in the U.s. have collapsed (CCD)
Bees have consumed more high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Apiarists, or beekeepers rent bees to farmers
Travel from place to place in order to pollinate crops
No access to pollen when traveling, feed the bees HFCS-55
Most crops grown for their fruits, nuts, seeds, fibers, etc., require pollination by insects ("MSU," 2012)
Bees are the most common pollinators
European honeybees are the best commercial pollinators
Is there a correlation between the death of bees and their consumption of HFCS?
How are HFCS's harmful towards bees?
How would the loss of bees affect our environment?
HFCS-55 means that this particular blend contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose
HFCS-55 has been found to closely approximate the taste of sucrose - table sugar, and is the most widely used form of HFCS in the U.S.
Citations: (8) and (9)
How does it work?
A few theories regarding the effect of HCFS on honeybees
Homing system
Forced to change from generalists to specialists
Prevents the bees from activating a necessary immune system gene
Increases susceptibility to pesticides
Citations: (Eggleston 2009) & (Barker 1992)
Full transcript