back to article Mobile phone threat to honeybees

Experts have identified a possible contributory cause of the unexplained and drastic decline in honeybee numbers - mobile phone radiation. Beekeepers worldwide have reported increasing incidents of "Colony Collapse Disorder", a phenomenon normally evident between late summer and early spring as older bees die, "leaving behind …


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  1. Russell Sakne

    Mobile? Cordless?

    All a bit confusing. Are we talking about the deliberate radio waves from mobile phones and masks, or the accidental ones from any electrical appliance? "Mobile phone" usually implies a cellphone, not a cordless charging cradle. And is it the radio waves (for telephony) or the strong magnetic field (from the recharging circuitry) which is the suspected agent.

    And where do bees get the money to buy cordless phones for their hives anyway?

  2. David Donnachie

    So no more Bees is bad ?

    So no more Bees is bad ? can I have one of those transmitters for my house and does it work on Wasps ?

  3. Summa

    Unlikely to be primary cause

    Colony collapse disorder (CCD) has be shown to occur in parts of the U.S. where there is no cell phone service. The U.S. CCD Working Group does not consider this to be a likely primary cause. See

  4. Arnold Lieberman


    Very depressing whenever the words "mobile phone" and "radiation" are used in the same report.

    Would these be the sort of scientist that don't understand the difference between a 2.4GHz DECT cordless phone (i.e. one that transmits on the same frequencies as microwave ovens but at miniscule levels) and mobile phones (900MHz/1.8GHz @ 100w-ish), thus are not interchangeable in terms of this experiment? Might as well put a baby monitor in the hive and see what effect that has.

    Presumably these are biologists, scientists who have as much understanding of RF as Joe Public. I'm sure they've also got an opinion on the physics of climate change and the effect of the London CONgestion charge etc. etc.

  5. Paul Bristow

    Re: So no more Bees is bad?

    Umm, yes it's bad. With no more bees, no more plants get pollinated. No more plants, no more crops, no more food.

    The Human race would die out quite quickly with no more food available.

    Unless you don't count that as a bad thing?

  6. Clay Garland

    Yes, no more bees is bad.

    You see David, bees pollenate roughly 70-75% of all the fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants of all varieties that we depend on whilst collecting plant parts to make honey to feed the next batch of bees. The common european honeybee is nearly benign to humans, only attacking when provoked quite tremendougly, and furhtermore, giving up the chase as little as 30 yards from the Hive. Africanized honeybees, the swarming kind that kill folks are not used for honey production because of their tenacity and very easily provoked nature. Wasps do little for plant life, but they do kill some bothersome insects, and they do build paper nests in just about anything with a hole. I say, planting a radio transmitter near a colony of africanized honeybees is a grand idea, but killing the docile european honeybees from which comes the honey I use to sweeten my tea would not only make me mad that I have to use sugar in my tea now, but would also cause a great deal of problems for fruit farmers in how their crops are pollenated.

  7. Russell Sakne

    ! bee != starvation

    " more bees, no more plants get pollinated. No more plants, no more crops, no more food..."

    No more pollination by bees. Wind pollination would still occur and pollination by other arthropods and vertebrates. Most of the staple food crops of the world are either grasses (wheat, barley, maize, rice etc) and therefore wind-pollinated, or don't propagate agriculturally through seed (plantains, potatoes).

    Which is not to say that bee-death is a Good Thing.

  8. Bill The Cat

    Too Much Noise Surrounding Data

    The problem is that there is just so much noise regarding this apiary CCD condition. People are speculating left and right all over the world about the cause. To make matters worse, rags like this report it and then other beekeepers believe what they read.

    Research will take time and it will be involved. There are many aspects to this that need to be evaluated. One primary aspect is that bees are frequently moved hundred or thousands of miles/kilometers to pollinate crops. Durig their stay at a different location, they may pick up a disease. Then, when the hives are transported to their next destination, they carry the disease with them. The result is that a disease propogates across the country much faster than it would by nature.

    There are also many people who are claiming CCD but their symptoms are not fitting. If the bees return to the hive, then they don't have CCD. If the hive population is dropping gradually, then they don't have CCD. Responsibile beekeepers know the difference.

    One other detail that isn't being widely reported is that once CCD hits a hive, normal preditors to the hive won't touch it either. Why? We honestly don't know but moths, animals, beetles and the like that would normally invade and consume an abandoned hive don't touch CCD hives.

    If you're going to report about Bees and CCD, please report facts and not rumors.

  9. Danny Thompson

    Facts and Rumours

    Oh why let a little ole Fact get in the way of a bunch of juicy ripe Rumours?

    I think that CCD just goes to show that the scientists and their fanboys are not as smart as they would have us believe. They simply do not know everything, they're nowhere near it. And so, we should treat everything they say with great suspicion and doubt.

    There will be, in time, a perfectly simple and natural explanation for CCD.

  10. Matt

    EM exposure needs a serious re-think

    There are many ways of measuring RF exposure. Initially, measurements were concerned only with the heating effect on living tissue and safety levels were based largely upon this.

    More recently, it has become evident that PULSE REPETITION RATE and MODULATION of a radio signal have a very significant effect on nervous systems.

    All living cells communicate internally and externally using tiny electric voltages and currents. This delicate balance is measurably upset, stressed and/or destroyed when we surround ourselves with global power distribution systems and wide spectrum radio pollution, millions of times stronger than the earth's natural magnetic field.

    I believe that a thorough worldwide reduction & elimination of manmade electromagnetic pollution is urgently required, for the sake of all our relations with the living world.

  11. Richard Graham

    Mobile phone threat to honeybees

    In an article published this week by Der Spiegel, the German magazine debunked well the recent PR campaign to divert the cause discussion of the bee collapse in North America and Europe from GMO and neonicotinoid pesticides to mobile phones. I thought your readers should know this information. The following link will take you to that article so you’re not caught up on perpetuating disinformation from petrochemical companies. Der Speigel was amongst the first major publications in the world to cover Colony Collapse Disorder.,1518,477804,00.html

    Wikipedia is also up on this serious matter.


    Richard Graham


    Canberra Australia

  12. George

    If it is caused by cell phones...

    I'm curious about the timing and trigger event. Has there been a new cell phone technology rolled out recently? The epidemiology of CCS seems to have started in the UK, then moved over to France and Germany at the same time it started on the US East coast, and then moved on to the Southwest.

    Has there been a push to expand cell phone towers out into rural areas? Has anyone tried mapping cell phone signal concentration at different frequencies against reported hive losses?

    On top of this, varroa mites just appeared within the Hawaiian honey bee population. This was one of the last isolated populations where the mites hadn't shown up, and likely marks the end of organic certified honey. Talk about a doubly whammy.

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