Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees
By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross
Published: 15 April 2007
It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.
They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.
The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.
The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.
CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.
Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."
The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".
No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.
German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines.
Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause.
Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am convinced the possibility is real."
The case against handsets
Evidence of dangers to people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof is still lacking, largely because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer, take decades to show up.
Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.
Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.
Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically, doctors have identified the condition of "text thumb", a form of RSI from constant texting.
Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official inquiries, warned that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a series of safety recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.
© 2007 Independent News and Media Limited
Informant: Robert Thinker and Mark G.
Mail on Sunday, 15.4.07
"ARE MOBILE PHONES KILLING OFF BRITAIN'S HONEY BEES?"
Scientists studying the mass disappearance of honey bees say mobile phones may be the cause. In recent years, hives have been abandoned in huge numbers across Europe. Last week, John Chapple, one of London's major beekeepers, found that 23 of his 40 hives had been abruptly abandoned. Now scientists suggest radiation given off by mobile phones & high tech (microwave) gadgets is interfering with bees' navigation systems. German studies have shown bees refuse to return to hives when a mobile phone is nearby. The vanishing bees are never found & are belived to die alone far from their hives. The issue is a serious problem because bees are vital for pollinating food crops. The alarm over the vanishing bees was first sounded last autumn in USA. Now America's East Coast has lost up to 70% of its commercial bee population & the West Coast up to 60%.
German research on bees and EMF's
Are mobile phones killing our bees?
I don't understand - have all the excellent comments below the article appeared in todays Mail?
Are mobile phones killing our bees?
Bees 'killed by mobile phone signals'
By Bonnie Malkin
An unusually high number of honey bee deaths in Britain this year may be caused by radiation from mobile phone signals, say experts.
British beekeepers have called for further research following the release of a German study showing that radiation can interfere with bees' navigation systems.
In some cases, 70 per cent of bees exposed to radiation failed to find their way back to the hive after searching for pollen and nectar, according to the research by Landau University. advertisement
The researchers placed cordless-phone docking units, which emit electromagnetic radiation, into bee hives.
Bee experts are struggling to determine the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD), a mystery condition in which bees suddenly abandon their hives and disappear to die.
In America, 24 states are affected and losses of 50 to 90 per cent of colonies have been recorded. CCD recently spread to Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal and last week some keepers in Britain reported losses exceeding the 10 per cent of colonies that usually die during winter.
John Chapple, one of London's foremost beekeepers, said 30 of his 40 hives were empty and that other hives around London had lost up to 75 per cent of their bees.
If CCD does take hold in Britain it could have far-reaching implications for farming, as bees pollinate millions of hectares of fruit trees and crops.
The pollination is worth £200 million to Britain's farmers each year. The total contribution by bees to the economy is worth up to £1 billion.
Brian Dennis, of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Association, said: "There is so much being said about CCD in America and [radiation] hasn't been mentioned.
"Until someone does a large study, it is hard to be sure."
Hives left 'like Mary Celeste' as bees mysteriously vanish
Bees impacted by Wireless
Ok so I had to wait for a few days before the media came up with a good article regarding Bees and Cell phone or mobile technology. The National Post indicated that a small study using high frequency radiation from a mobile phone has disrupted a hive. Please see http://www.canada.com/topics/technology/news/gizmos/story.html?id=0285cf81-46d2-4636-aea7-dc02157a1d77&k=86662
The Canada.com article says "The small study, led by Prof. Jochen Kuhn of Landau University, suggests that radiation from widely used cellphones may mess up the bees’ homing abilities by interfering with the neurological mechanisms that govern learning and memory. It also appears to disrupt the insects’ ability to communicate with each other. To conduct the study, Kuhn placed cellphone handsets near hives and observed that radiation in the frequency range of 900 to 1800 megahertz caused the bees to avoid their homes. "
If any Ontario Bee producer would like to use a wireless Mesh at the 2.4 Ghz range to test if the wireless mesh disrupts the hive I would provide the equipment. Since I don't have ample supply I will limited to only a hand full request.
Contact Don at 647-476-2231 ext 2000 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to observe if Wi-Fi signals disrupts the hive.
[Well, is this a challenge? - Any North American contacts want to take him up?]
From Mast Sanity/Mast Network
How Electromagnetic Exposure can influence Learning Processes
Can Electromagnetic Exposure Cause a Change in Behaviour?
Two papers relevant to possible EMR/CCD connection
Bee decline in Austria after mast installation
Tree deformities found near EMF