August 31, 2009

Honey Bees Threatened By Cell Towers

A study published in India concluded that the electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phone towers and cell phones can pose a threat to honey bees.

An experiment conducted in southern Kerala found that the bee population suddenly dropped after cell phone companies installed towers across the state to increase their network.

Dr. Sainuddin Pattazhy, who was the lead of the study, said that the electromagnetic waves emitted by the towers crippled the "navigational skills" of the worker bees, which collect nectar from flowers to sustain bee colonies.

Pattazhy said that when a cell phone was kept near a beehive, the worker bees were unable to return.  This resulted in hives being left with only the queens and eggs, collapsing the colony within ten days.

Over 100,000 people in Kerala are engaged in the apiculture field, and the dwindling worker bee population threatens their livelihood.  Also, the bees play an important role in pollinating flowers to sustain vegetation.

Pattazhy said that if towers and mobile phones keep building up, honey bees will be wiped out in 10 years.