Cell Phones May Be Killing Bees

Radiation thought to be disrupting navigation
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2010 8:25 AM CDT
A carpenter bee collects pollen from a daisy, Wednesday, June 23, 2010, in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

(Newser) – Cell phone radiation has been implicated in the disastrous decline of bee populations around the world. Add mobile phones to the list of culprits that already includes parasites, pesticides, and climate change, say biologists who've looked at the data from a new study in India. Researchers hooked up hives to cell phones twice a day for 15 minutes, and found after three months that the bees stopped producing honey, egg production fell by a half, and the size of the hive dwindled, CNN reports.

An expert on the biological effects of radiation says it could be effecting a pigment in bees called cryptochrome, which they use for navigation. "They use it to sense the direction of the earth's magnetic field and their ability to do this is compromised by radiation from phones and their base stations," he tells CNN. "So basically bees do not find their way back to the hive." A change in frequency, he adds, could solve the problem.

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