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Are mobile phones killing off honey bees?

A study from Landau University in Germany advocates that the ability of honeybees to navigate may be interrupted by radiation emitted by cellular phones. Jochen Kuhn from Landau put the phones close to hives, and saw that radiation in the 900 MHz – 1800 MHz range made the bees shun the hive.

He conjectures that the radiation could affect the wriggling communicating dance of bees on the honeycomb.

The problem was first noticed in the US, now called Colony Collapse Disorder, since the bees flee the hives in droves. Only queens and young bees are left behind. Scientists believe that they die while flying far from their hives.

In the US, two-thirds of the hives suffer from this disorder. Bees are vital to pollination so there is much concern. The East Coast may have 70 per cent fewer bees, while the West Coast may have a 60 per cent reduction in commercial bees. The creatures that steal pollen and honey from the hives, such as wildlife, other bees and parasites will not visit the empty hives. Half of all US states are now affected.

Dr George Carlo, who, in the Nineties, led a major study for cellular phone businesses and the US government about dangers from mobile phones, said he deeply believes that there is a genuine threat to bees.

Very recently, some beekeepers said that the occurrence is now spreading in Britain as well as continental Europe and the US John Chapple, a major London beekeeper, declared that 23 of his 40 hives have been suddenly deserted.

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is adamant that CCD has not hit the UK. However, beekeepers in Wales, Scotland and north-west England disagree. Albert Einstein predicted that mankind would only exist for a further four years if there were no more bees.

The possibility of cancer being caused by radiation from mobile phone is also being studied. The evidence is inconclusive since the symptoms may take many years to appear.

Swedish studies showed that radiation reduced the number of brain cells. A Finnish study showed that using the phones for more than a decade might cause a brain tumour on the same side as the phone. The chances were increased by 40% the study said.  In the US and India research suggest that male sperm counts may be less through cell phone use.


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