Thursday, June 3, 2010

Could Cell Phones Be Killing Off Bees?

cell phones killing off beesResearchers in India are concerned that cell phones might possibly be assisting in the decline of the honeybee population all across the world. Due to these concerns, researchers at the Punjab University in Chandigarh decided to investigate whether or not these claims had any basis.

Over the past years, many different countries have seen an undeniable decline in their bee populations. Now many could say that there are a variety of natural causes for this decrease such as climate change, pesticides, and viruses. Despite these possible natural causes, Indian researchers felt that cell phones might also be a plausible culprit. They decided to perform a controlled experiment to explore the possibilities of cell phone interference with the life process of the honeybees.

For the experiment, they had three separate bee hives. One hive had several cell phones placed around it, another had several fake cell phones surrounding it, and the final hive had nothing around it. The real cell phones placed around one of the three bee hives were GSM 900MHz. “The exposure given was 15 minutes twice a day during peak bee activity.”

At the end of three months, the researchers were able to observe some very interesting results. The hive that was surrounded by the real cell phones suffered a significant decline in population. The queen bee of the hive surrounded by cell phones laid less than half of the eggs that the queen bees of the hives that had the fake cell phones or nothing around them. There was also no pollen or honey to be found in the hive that had been surrounded by cell phones.

The researchers that conducted the experiment, Ved Parkash Sharma and Neelima Kumar, stated that they chose to conduct the experiment because there was a growing amount of evidence that electromagnetic fields are to blame for the decline in the bee population. They are afraid that all the radiation from cell phones might possibly be messing with bees’ ability to navigate their way back to the hive.

Certainly more experiments will need to be conducted, but I feel that this information is quite interesting. It definitely seems that cell phone radiation could possibly be killing off honeybees. Hopefully after some more research, a conclusion will be reached as to whether or not cell phones are at least partly the reason for the decrease in the bee population across the world.
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