Cellphones Inside Bee Colonies Are Bad

  Bee CCD background
From Slashdot, “Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss.” If you need a laugh, check out the reader comments on the story, such as “The queen should stop texting and get back to work.”

But seriously, this is an important issue for off-grid living since homesteaders are likely to depend on radio links of some kind and are also more likely than other people to have beehives pollinate their edible forest gardens.

Being a ham operator, I would add other variables besides transmitter power to a bigger study. Frequency (cell phones operate in or near microwave bands) and modes such as analog AM, FM, or SSB, also if there’s digitized content, check if the type (voice, music, or text) makes any difference.

The legal response to this new published study will not be swift because it’s not very authoritative. Only two hives were tested. Quoting an excerpt:

“. . .one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two 15-minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed. After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey.”

One of the readers noted in a comment that because of the inverse square law, the field strength of the transmitter inside a hive is many orders of magnitude greater than would be experienced from usage in real life.

Other theories for honeybee colony collapse disorder involve pesticide and herbicide chemicals, genetically modified plants, and transporting of hives from around the world to pollinate big cash crops like almonds.

Michael Pollan referred to this pool of unrelated hives mingling on distant farms as the annual “honeybee brothel” spreading diseases.

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