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To bee or not to bee April 25, 2007

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

The worldwide Bee Cluedo continues. Honeybees in their billions are mysteriously disappearing from Colorado to Guatemala and from Brazil to Germany. “Colony Collapse Disorder” or CCD is laying waste to commercial hives around the globe and so far, scientists are in the dark as to the causes.

The New York Times puts it thus:

As with any great mystery, a number of theories have been posed, and many seem to researchers to be more science fiction than science. People have blamed genetically modified crops, cellular phone towers and high-voltage transmission lines for the disappearances. Or was it a secret plot by Russia or Osama bin Laden to bring down American agriculture? Or, as some blogs have asserted, the rapture of the bees, in which God recalled them to heaven? Researchers have heard it all.

“Rapture of the bees” – that’s really funny in a tragic sort of way…

At least the cellphone connection seems to be bogus. The researchers who were quoted by The Independent as having shown that radiation from mobile phones may mess with a bee’s sense of direction are trying to set the record straight:

– they were using cordless phones, which work completely differently and have very short range;

– their studies cannot indicate that electromagnetic radiation is a cause of CCD.

According to them,

Ever since The Independent wrote their article, for which they never called or wrote to us, none of us have been able to do any of our work because all our time has been spent in phone calls and e-mails trying to set things straight. This is a horror story for every researcher to have your study reduced to this.



1. Bug Girl - April 26, 2007

Thanks Andreas! This is really helpful to have a link to the original news story. I have a copy of the paper, and I’m interested in how much the two sources differ.

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