A 2014 Harvard study states that neonicotinoids – the dominant ingredient found in many popular insecticides which treat much of the corn in the U.S. — are to blame for honeybee colony collapse disorder. Honeybees provide pollination for 70 percent of the food we grow to eat. Bees don’t pollinate corn, but the pollen drifts elsewhere, where it makes contact with bees.
The Harvard honeybee study was published in the Bulletin of Insectology. The university scientists studied 18 honeybee colonies in Massachusetts for about one year, and reviewed how even low doses of two types of neonicotinoids — clothianidin and imidacloprid — impacted healthy honeybee hives over the winter. They placed the hives in three locations, and at each spot gave four hives high fructose corn syrup laced with neonicotinoids and left two hives untouched. The result: Half the hives that came into contact with the insecticide suffered colony collapse disorder. And the bees that were left were not doing great.