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The Case Of The Missing Bees
Transcript of The Case Of The Missing Bees
What is HFCS-55?
The Case Of The Missing Bees
What is the problem with HFCS-55?
-HFCS-55 contains an organic compound called HMF
-HMF is not found in fresh foods, it's found in naturally generated sugars
-HMF may be toxic to bees -Bees feed on HFCS-55 that had 57-200 ppm all had about a 20% survival rate after 26 days. Bees that were fed on HFCS-55 that had 250 ppm had a survival rate of 10% after 26 days.
Can HFCS-55 be considered a natural substance?
HFCS-55 is an artificial generated natural sugar
it is a mixture of glucose and fructose
it closely relates to the taste of sugar
The USDA initiated a study called the Leblanc study that established that the amount of HMF consumed is related to the survival rate of bees. The study consisted of testing different amounts of HMF in the HFCS-55 fed to the bees. The result was that the bees that were fed the greater amount of HMF had a lower survival rate.
The CRA has spoken against the study from the USDA claiming that the experiment was flawed. Also, according to another source, HMF is found in many different foods at high concentrations. Also stated by this source is that testing with HMF and mammalian cells concludes that HMF is not a serious health concern.
Our group concludes in support of the USDA study. Their study had results that demonstrated that HMF lowered bee survival rate by 10%. Also, the CRA's claims that HMF does not affect mammalian cells is irrelevant because bees are not mammals. The CRA also notes that HMF is found in all sweeteners, including honey. However, the concentration of HMF in these sweeteners is not as great as it is in HFCS-55.
-HFCS-55 is a naturally generated sugar used to feed bees
-HFCS-55 is a replacement for pollen and nectar which is what bees normally eat
Honey bees in North American, Europe, and South American have significantly decreased by a third since 2007 but for a reason that is unknown.
A study shows, done by the U.S. department of Agriculture and Cornell University, that almost a third of everything that humans eat is pollinated by bees (beeculture.com,2000).
No Bees = No Food
So Why Are They Leaving?
There have been two observed changes that have effected the Honeybees that live in the United States since the mid 1970's:
One of those changes is that there has been a consistent increased amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) intake by honeybees
The other change is that nearly a third of the honeybee colonies in the U.S. aren't available and are no longer pollinating. This phenomenon is called colony collapse disorder (CCD) (Kaplan, 2009).
Does your answer to the previous question depend on whether the HFCS-55 is made from “natural” or GM corn?
Since our definition of "natural" from the previous question regards HFCS-55 as unnatural, it does not matter whether GM corn or real corn is used.
However, using GM corn certainly does make HFCS-55 more artificial.
Since it is already in question whether or not HFCS-55 manufactured with pure ingredients, is in fact "natural", then the substitution of a natural ingredient for a GM one, would certainly deem HFCS-55 as artificial.
What are the two sides to the argument? What side does the group support?