Electropollution: Are Cell Phones A Threat To Honey Bees?
New research tries to find the reason behind the shrinking bee population.
Scientists from Punjab University in India have claimed that cell phone radiation could be a major factor for disappearance of honey bees, adding that the radiation interfered with the bee’s navigation senses.
In a controlled experiment, they monitored two hives, one fitted with mobile phones which were powered on for two fifteen minute sessions daily for three months and the other which had dummy models installed. After 3 months, in the hive fitted with cell phones, the scientists recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive. The worker bees stopped producing honey, while the queen bee produced less than half the number of eggs produced by her counterpart in the other normal hive. The number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen also sharply declined, because of which the amount of nectar produced in the hive shrank.
The scientists had this to say on their research:
“Increase in the usage of electronic gadgets has led to electropollution of the environment. Honeybee behavior and biology has been affected by electrosmog since these insects have magnetite in their bodies which helps them in navigation.”
This new research adds to the list of several past studies conducted to find the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD), a global bee epidemic first reported in 2006. The U.S Department of Agriculture says that almost one-third of human diet can be traced back to insect-pollinated plants, out of which 80 percent are pollinated by honeybees.