If you want to a kill a honeybee hive's buzz, take all its honey away and feed the bees a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup.
Believe it or not, apiarists have been doing just that since the 1970s -- feeding HFCS to their colonies as a replacement source of nourishment for the honey that gets taken away from them to be sold.
And believe it or not, HFCS, which is bad for humans, is also bad for honeybees. It's especially bad for those that are exposed to pesticides, which these days is a high proportion of them.
It's not that HFCS contributes to honeybee diabetes, nor does it result in honeybee obesity. But it weakens their defenses. And right now, the bees need all the defenses they can get in order to survive.
When honeybees collect nectar from flowers, they also gather pollen and a substance called propolis, which they use to make waxy honeycombs. The pollen and propolis are loaded with three types of compounds that University of Illinois entomologists discovered can help the bees detoxify their cells and protect themselves from pesticides and microbes.