Study says cell phones contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder
When scientists began confirming, five years ago, that bees were dying off all over the world, the race was on to see what was causing this Colony Collapse Disorder. Was it a virus, a fungus, pesticides? All these were implicated.
One theory, that linked the problem to cell phone towers, was considered to be somewhere on the fringe. But it’s back in the news today. A study from the Swiss Institute of Technology demonstrates that holding a cell phone close to a swarm of bees disrupts the bees’ natural form of communication, causing them to become terminally confused to the point where they die.
Biologist Dr. Daniel Favre, put a cell phone directly under a beehive and then monitored the bees’ response.
When the handsets were making and receiving calls, the bees started making the kind of high pitched noises that usually signal the start of swarming. When the phones were switched off, worker bees calmed down, but they didn’t swarm.
“The presence of an active mobile phone disturbs bees,” Favre said. “It has a dramatic effect.”
This video explains the cell phone theory some more. According to one theory, the bees interpret the electromagnetic activity as a warning to leave the hive, but because the frequency confuses the bees, so they simply fly around in all directions.
So, are cell phones the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)? After all, most of us don’t make phone calls from right next to a beehive. Scientists speculate that cell phone towers may be implicated, along with the sheer number of cell phones in use at any given time. They add that there are almost certainly many factors at work, and that that viruses, pesticides, mites etc. are probably equally to blame.
Whatever the case, the bees are in trouble, and if they’re going to be saved, then all of these potential causes are going to have to be addressed.
Here are two news videos from ABC’s Good Morning America looking at different aspects of what’s happening to bees and also how it affects us humans:
How Cell Phones Affect Bees
What do you say? Does it ring true to you that cell phones are affecting bees? Would you cut down on phone use if it helped save them. Let us know in a comment below or on Facebook.
What you can do: The underlying cause of what’s happening to bees is that they’re stressed out from commercial beekeeping, which trucks hives around the country to pollinate huge crop farms and then takes most of the honey from the hive, replacing it with sugar water. No surprise: this weakens the bees. One thing we can all do is stop buying commercial honey.