Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

Summary: According to researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology honeybees are fatally confused by the electromagnetic signals coming out of cell phones.

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Think cell phone-induced brain cancer is bad? According to a recent study, its not brain cells our phones have been killing, but honeybees.

According to researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, honeybees are confused by the electromagnetic signals coming out of cell phones. The study found that the presence of cell phone signals increased bee activity, causing accidental swarming as the bees struggled to communicate above the noise.

The experimenters figured this out by placing cell phones next to beehives, the act of which resulted in a tenfold increase in the signal that informs worker bees to leave their hives. The increased activity also serves to indicate that a swarm is in danger, which posed further issues.

This research, while not entirely new, points to only one of many possible causes for the massive bee die offs that have occurred in recent years. Other theories have pointed to pathogens, pesticides and global warming, but fixing those issues pales in comparison to the Herculean efforts required to separate people from their cell phones. Sorry, honeybees, but I have to take this call.

[Via Fast Company]

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Telcos

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23 comments
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  • No certain pesticides kills them

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees

    And where they've been banned honey bee populations recover, with or without mobile phones.
    guihombre
    • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

      @guihombre Right on! http://mindbodyspirit.me/honeybee-mystery-solved/
      homeopathic
  • I alway keep a cell phone on hand

    While I am out studying bees, doesn't everybody? Given the concentration of cell phones in close proximity to bee colonies versus the concentration of pesticides I am thinking pesticides is a vastly more plausible scenario.
    oncall
  • Not exactly... Let's get it right please

    http://redgreenandblue.org/2011/05/12/are_cell_phones_killing_bees_how_the_false_meme_sprea/

    SHows how this false assertion spread this time... There have been others before.
    sklauminzer
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    Go read the study - nothing about dying bees at all.

    Cool story bro.
    tonymcs@...
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    I suspect the authors misunderstand their findings, the bees went crazy because they thought they had finally gotten a phone and wanted to text all the other hives but like so many of us could not get it to work right. PS was this an apple or android phone?
    jcheese@...
  • bzzz... No Einstein "quotes" here please!

    Just thought I'd nip this one in the bud:
    Einstein never uttered that famous honeybee quote often attributed to him.
    He was a physicist, not an apiarist, and knew SFA about beekeeping.
    And what kind of news is this? I've been hearing this cellphone urban legend for ten years now!
    Just sayin'....
    PercySludge
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    As a beekeeper and an electronics tech. I find this article to be unquestionable. My bee losses are due to yellow Jackets in the fall unless I have Russian bees. I carry a cell phone around my bees ready to use but seldom do, and my bees are within 700 feet of T-Moble cell station for over ten years and I see no effect.
    b-m-karl@...
    • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

      @b-m-karl@... <br><i>I find this article to be <b><u>unquestionable.</u></b> </i><br>??<br>You mean you agree with the article's premise? No questions asked?<br>The cellphones are actually responsible for the bee die-off?
      PercySludge
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    So, my cellphone is a bee repellant? Does it work on wasps too? I wish!
    It's not difficult to imagine bees being disturbed by the bursts of RF emitted periodically by cellphones, when they're in close proximity, nor even by the beamed transmissions from the towers. But how many cellphones will you find near those massive fields of oilseed rape, or even in a flowering cherry tree?
    bicycle repair man
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    Click trolling ...
    justin.donie@...
  • Pesticides.

    The core of the problem is pesticides. People claim organic farming can't sustain the current world population. Not getting into the 150 billion in food we americans throw away each year or how it would affect food supplies of that number were made zero... but maybe we can't have such a big population if we wish to survive as a species, with other species. We are clearly having a massive top to bottom impact on this planet's biosphere and atmosphere, even its geology.... This planet earth is not a neverending supply for us humans to consume.

    The key here is removing petrochemical based substances from our food cycle, and reducing the number of GMO crops. Bees are amazing and we are killing them off with our toxic-goop-from-the-ground-based growing techniques. I've heard it said that insanity is doing something exactly the same expecting different results each time...

    - A
    ifone
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    I think there is enough blame to spread around here. Cell phones, microwave towers, those EM radiation waves the government tries to read our brains with. Put your tinfoil hat back on and head for the cellar.
    allen@...
    • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

      @allen@...

      http://berkeley.intel-research.net/arahimi/helmet/
      DeusXMachina
      • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

        @DeusXMachina Cool study! I think shielding is a good way to block some types of "smart" devices and meters. http://thehealingfrequency.com/radiation-safety-guide-protection-from-radiation-hazards/
        homeopathic
      • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

        @homeopathic<br><br>Um, zeolite?!? What a complete load of rubbish. Snakeoil anyone?<br>Hint: Radiation poisoning is NOT caused by heavy metals any more than death by shooting is caused by guns. Bulluts kill you, not guns (FTMP) and alpha and gamma particles released from radioactive decay kill you, not the Uranium 235. (Well, unless you actually eat plutonium, but in that case you would die from the plutonium itself well before the radiation ever killed you.)
        DeusXMachina
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    LOL. At least I know now that the US is not the only country wasting money on stupid research. They placed it next to a beehive and the signal the bees use increases ten fold. Assume that the hive is 0.5 meters wide. With a cell phone 1.5 meters away, the signal strength would be equal to that of the bees. At 5 meters, it would be less than the noise from the adjacent hive. I don't know about you, but I never want to be closer than that to a hive.
    rreinhold058@...
  • Huh??

    A very similar study was done last year in India, when the whole "colony collapse disorder" thing was the big story in the news media, and it was pretty soundly debunked after that by several web sites. EG:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/iandouglas/100005223/mobile-phones-and-bees-shoddy-research-helps-no-one/

    Slashdot covered the story of the original study too, and several people replied who actually were professional beekeepers, arguing with the results. (For example, one guy lost 4 hives of bees, but all of them were in a very remote area, where there was absolutely no cellular service.)
    kingtj
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    I can see how cellphone signals would effect bees (and, heck, many other animals and insects) and I might even accept that those signals occasionally cause "accidental swarming"... but then the article (or is it the research? Hard to tell since the article offers no link to the research itself) makes the asinine conclusion that "this is what's killing the honeybees".

    How 'bout following a logic flow that DOESN'T require a blind turn or leap of faith?
    csteinola
  • RE: Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

    If indeed the author believes that cell phone signals affect honey bees, his ending comment, "Sorry, honeybees, but I have to take this call," indicates a degree of insensitivity or ignorance.
    GEK2