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Are Cell Towers Bad for Bees?

Wed, 09/02/2009 - 6:00am

Editor's Note: I was going to dismiss this one as more eco-hyperbole, but this issue does need exploration, as we kinda sorta need bees and if there is anything to EMI interference (which is not a far-fetched theory) disrupting bees, we should explore how it happens, to what extent, and how to prevent it from happening. It makes sense that such a phenomenon would be more noticable in areas currently undergoing cellular development. It isn't simply wireless comms issue because this has only been a problem in recent years. For all we know EMI disruption is the last straw on top of industrial beekeeping, pollution, and a contagion that they would have been able to shake if not for the physical ballast. What do you think?

Thiruvananthapuram (Daily News & Analysis India) -  As in the case of the house sparrows, mobile towers are posing a serious threat to honey bees, hitting apiculture, which is a source of additional income to rural folk across Kerala, says a study.

Electromagnetic radiation from the mobile towers and cell phones were potent to kill worker bees that go out to collect nectar from flowers, suggests a study by environmentalist and Reader in Zoology, Dr Sainudeen Pattazhy.

Considering the recent plunge in beehive population reported from different parts of Kerala, the trend, if remedial measures are not taken, could even wipe out bees from Kerala within a decade, Pattazhy, who teaches in SN College at Punalur in Kollam district said.

In one of his experiments he found that when a mobile phone was kept near a beehive it resulted in collapse of the colony in five to 10 days, with the worker bees failing to return home, leaving the hives with just queens, eggs and hive-bound immature bees.

Electromagnetic waves emitted by towers were strong enough to cripple the "navigational skills" of the worker bees, who play a vital role in sustaining bee colonies, he said.

Click Here for the rest of the article.

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