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Are cellphones killing honeybees? April 18, 2007

Posted by Andreas in bees, Environment, News, Sustainable Living.

The other day, I wrote about how genetically engineered crops have been suggested as a possible reason for the massive die-off of honeybees that has been documented around the world recently. I thought that was quite a scary scenario.

It seems, however, that scientists are pretty much in the dark about the actual cause of increased cases of Colony Collapse Disorder (a phenomenon that can occur naturally between late summer and early spring as older bees die, leaving behind the queen and a few immature workers incapable of sustaining their colony).

A new, small-scale German study now claims that “radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets” may be a possible answer to the mystery.

According to The Independent,

[…] a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a “hint” to a possible cause.

Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: “I am convinced the possibility is real.”

while the Telegraph reports that

[t]he researchers placed cordless-phone docking units, which emit electromagnetic radiation, into bee hives.


In some cases, 70 per cent of bees exposed to radiation failed to find their way back to the hive after searching for pollen and nectar […].

Until someone comes up with more conclusive evidence, I guess we shouldn’t get taken in by all of these rather speculative, but worrying, stories.

At the moment, this seems to be a case of Bee Cluedo – Dr. Monsanto in the apiary with a Motorola 3116.


1. Bug Girl - April 25, 2007

This study wasn’t designed to actually test if mobile phones could be a problem. In fact, they didn’t even use cell phones–they used a cordless phone.

This is a case of journalists making much ado about nothing. I hope to have time later this week to write a review of the *actual* research.

2. Andreas - April 26, 2007

You’re absolutely right. Read my subsequent post on this here

3. josefgraf - June 9, 2008


A note to let you know about this article, a current issue being addressed by the Earth Vision project –

“Why the Bees Are Dying”

Using spiritual ecology to bring environmentalism to the next level, the EV project has several current newsworthy items.
To access them, visit:

Current Environmental Issues (on the Earth Vision site)

Thanks for your attention,

Josef Graf
Earth Vision + Insight21
answers for the 21st Century
http://www.evsite.net + http://www.insight21.net

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